CUMBERLAND — With incredible enthusiasm, Blackstone Valley Prep High School (BVPHS) is pleased to announce seniors Alioune Diba of Pawtucket and Jennifer Pantoja-Ramirez of Central Falls have been awarded full four-year scholarships and admission to Boston College and Wellesley College, respectively, through the highly competitive QuestBridge National College Match Program.
QuestBridge, a national nonprofit based in Palo Alto, Calif., connects academically outstanding high school seniors from low-income backgrounds with full four-year scholarships to the nation’s leading colleges. In 2020, out of over 18,500 applications nationwide, 6,885 students were selected as National College Match Finalists, and only 1,464 matched with a college or university.
Alioune, a first generation college student, plays basketball, runs track, and tutors in his spare time. His interests include reading and writing poetry. Alioune will major in biology at Boston College. He aspires to become a pharmacist and start a local medicinal business in R.I.
“My family and I are so grateful for this opportunity being given to us by QuestBridge,” he says. “A new door has opened for us!”
Jennifer — also a first generation college student — is an active member of the BVPHS community. During her high school tenure, she participated in the Kindress Krew, BVP Historians Club, Youth to Youth, and the Women’s Leadership Program. She will attend Wellesley College in Wellesley, Mass. with aspirations of pursuing a career in the STEM field.
“It didn’t feel real at first,” she says. “I was in shock, but so thankful. I am so happy to have such a great support system at home and at school.”
“The QuestBridge application is challenging, but Alioune and Jennifer have been nothing but dedicated throughout the entire process,” says Ashley Gemma, BVP College and Career counselor. “Alioune and Jennifer are humble, thoughtful, and intellectually curious scholars. They will undoubtedly become leaders at their respective colleges, and bring the same enthusiasm, discipline, and integrity to their new communities just as they have done at BVPHS. We are immensely thankful for the opportunity QuestBridge provides students to attend college without worrying about financial limitations.”