Name: Ruperto Peres
Class Year: 2019
Major: Applied Psychology and Human Development
Favorite Class: Adolescent Psychology
Favorite thing about BC: The Lynch School of Education and the support system they provide for students. Also, faculty members who are willing to get to know you and want to hear your story.
What can you see yourself doing after graduation?
I see myself pursuing my Masters in Education at BC while teaching elementary and middle school kids in Boston Public Schools. I also see myself, later, moving back to New York City to work with first generation, low socioeconomic, inner-city kids to help them get to college and supply them with the social capital needed to succeed in college and beyond.
What are you doing to get there?
I’m involved with two nonprofits back home in The Bronx that helped me get into college and develop professionalism early in my life. I have been connecting with different directors and CEOs of non-profits to learn why they do the job they do and how they work with low-income first generation college students so I can get a sense of why I should do what I want to do. I am involved in mentorship programs in college or back home that would be beneficial to kids needing a mentor like I did. I’m also gaining experience in professional development by working at the Career Center that I can apply to my future non-profit organization. Also, working with the Center of Student Formation to provide programs and initiatives for students who don’t feel comfortable at BC will help me create programming for my future nonprofit to help kids feel comfortable in their home and school environments.
How did you learn about nonprofits, higher education, and educational and social policy?
I’m involved with two nonprofits back home, and the counselors there helped me get into college and become the person I am today. There are people back in New York City and inner-cities across the country that need help transitioning into college and potential careers, and I want to give to these people what the nonprofits I was involved with in New York gave to me and be able to provide them with what they need to transition well to and achieve in college and their future. I had great counselors at the nonprofit in New York who prepared me well for college academically. I know what it is like to be at a prestigious university coming from a different class and race, and I want to share my experiences with others who are in the same position.
What factors have contributed to your interest in nonprofit, higher education, and educational and social policy?
I would say that where I come from, The Bronx, NY, and the people I’ve been surrounded by all my life have had a large impact on my becoming interested in these industries. I never went to a private school or Catholic school, so BC is very different for me. People I’ve met here at BC have influenced my desire to do what I want to do. In addition, my mom never received a college education, so she pushed me to graduate from college. My sister attends a city college in New York and she isn’t very serious about school, so I want to make my mom proud by making sure I achieve the kind of success she wanted us to achieve.
How did you get started exploring potential careers?
I feel like college isn’t the end-all; it’s about what are you going to do after that has mattered to me the most. Before getting into the field of education, I was very interested in politics and international relations and how to create some sort of change in the international community. However, moving on to nonprofit work and higher education, I think the educational system here in the United States is something that has to be worked on both via the political platform and the community. Exploring different careers in nonprofit and higher education has led me to think that creating a change in the system is a tangible goal, and leaving an impact on a child’s life is something I really want to do.
What advice would you give to students who are also interested in nonprofit, higher education, and educational and social policy?
I would say to pursue the field and get involved early in activities and initiatives that may help them realize what exactly they want to do. I would also recommend going to different educational events and reading a lot about different children and how children are affected by their external contexts. Reading and researching a lot is something I am doing now, and I am finally realizing that it is something I love to do, especially regarding children and their development.
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
I consider my greatest achievement to be getting into college, especially Boston College. There were times back in high school when I felt like I wasn’t going to reach my 18 years of life nor be the Valedictorian of my high school, and there were times when I hit rock bottom back home and I wanted to give up because I did not get any emotional support. However, I got into college and am now pursuing the dreams I thought about three years ago by trying to help those who face the same barriers in life that are not talked about.
Who are your heroes in real life?
My mother. She battled and keeps battling in this country for 23 years now and has always been very attentive and supportive to me and my sister. Even though she can’t give me some sort of help in terms of money, whenever I need someone to call, she is always seconds away and willing to hear me out with my problems in college and life.