Maria Isabel Herrera: I know first-hand the positive impact of BVP

My name is Maria Isabel Herrera, I am both a Cumberland resident and a senior attending Blackstone Valley Prep High School. I have been a part of the BVP community ever since kindergarten.

For every BVP student that you may come across, each and every one of us has a different story to tell, I would like to share mine:

I am a proud daughter of Colombian immigrants, where my parents come from, opportunities can be scarce and limited due to multiple factors such as age, class, economic status, etc. In hopes of a better life and future, my mother decided to come to the United States in order to find new opportunities for us. My mother’s “American Dream” was to have her daughter obtain the right education needed in order to get into college. We were Cumberland residents but couldn’t afford most of the resources needed in order for me to succeed in school. The cruel reality of me not being able to gain access to the right opportunities due to our low economic status was overwhelming for her. Through endless nights of searching for another outcome, she eventually came across Blackstone Valley Prep. She was drawn into the goal of giving every single student an equal opportunity regardless of ethnicity, beliefs, and economic status. My mother immediately signed me up in the lottery so that I could attend BVP. She was excited to find out that I won the lottery and got accepted into this school.

Back then I never knew how this lottery would have such a huge impact on my life, dreams, and my goals. BVP’s rigorous and inclusive curriculum has given me the opportunity ever since kindergarten to challenge myself in ways that me and my mother would never have thought possible. Now as a senior at BVP High School and looking back on my experience here as a student, I am forever grateful for every opportunity that BVP had to offer. I would have never thought that I would be able to be as successful as I am due to my circumstances. But because BVP believed in me, I have been able to strive forward.

Stopping the expansion of the High School would rob hundreds of kids and their families of their dreams of having a successful future and getting into a well-deserved college due to not being able to attend BVPHS.

Valley Breeze readers I ask you to consider these questions: Do you think it’s ethical to take away the opportunity for a well-deserved education for hundreds of kids just to satisfy a couple of neighbors from minor complaints such as noise and traffic? Is it really right to have hundreds of kids coming to the realization that they will be separated from their friends, teachers, and siblings? Is it really worth denying opportunities to the underrepresented for college just to satisfy people that already had fulfilled their education? Is all of it really worth it?

Maria Isabel Herrera