Last week the Boston Globe ran an article on valedictorians of Boston’s high schools. More than one-third were born overseas. Some, like Edner Paul, are especially inspiring:
He arrived in Boston barely able to speak or write in English, but Edner Paul did not allow that to stand in his way.
In his four short years in the United States, this 16-year-old whiz kid from Haiti accomplished one feat after another. He mastered the English language within months and soon after passed a rigorous admission exam to the John D. O’Bryant School of Mathematics and Science. On Friday, he will graduate as valedictorian with a full scholarship to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
His success is as much a story about new immigrants as it is a tale about the re-emergence of the O’Bryant.
A letter to the editor from Dennis J. Naughton of Foxborough sums up my feelings well:
June 14, 2009
Last Sunday’s Metro coverage of Boston’s valedictorians just confirmed for me what I always say to those who express anti-immigration sentiments: that it is the desire to succeed in each new generation of immigrants that reinvigorates America and keeps us great.