Saudade: News from and for the Brazilian community/Notícias de e para a comunidade brasileira

Congratulations, MVRHS class of 2017

From left, Barbara de Paula, Patricia Oliveira and Ana Della after graduation. —Juliana Germani

A tradução deste artigo se encontra no final da versão em inglês

We are a week away from summer vacation, and it is hard to believe I am almost done with my first year as a Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School teacher. As I have mentioned before, my first year was full of challenges, as well as many moments of pure joy. I can’t quite pinpoint precisely when I chose to pursue a career as an educator, but I know that at some point during the school year, I embraced the challenges and everything that comes with being a teacher. And just like the students from the 2017 graduating class, I feel an enormous sense of pride and gratitude for the MVRHS community. I’m thankful for the knowledgeable and kind teachers and principal who graciously supported me and shared helpful insight that helped guide me throughout the school year. Congratulations, MVRHS class of 2017, I couldn’t be more proud of you.

I asked the Brazilian-American MVRHS students who graduated on Sunday to share their experiences, perspectives, and hopes for the future in this week’s column.

Abraham Nunes

High school was an incredible experience for me. Although I did go through tough times, I had the right people by my side to help me and to guide me through challenging times. I can’t say that I enjoyed all of the high school because that would not be true. But what I can say is this: I have no regrets. The person that I am today needed to go through all that for me to be where I am today. All I care about now is the well-being of others. That’s why I fought hard to graduate from high school, being the first one in my family to do so. During graduation, hearing all those people that I care about — my family, friends, and other loved ones — shout my name proudly is what I fought for throughout all four years of high school. I am truly blessed to have so many people by my side, encouraging me to be someone better, someone stronger, taking on every challenge head-on with no hesitation.

Now I’m going to have to fight even harder to be the first one to graduate from college in my family, paving a path for my brothers and little sister to follow when it’s their turn to walk onstage and receive their high school diploma. While in college, I plan on pursuing my dream of becoming an art teacher, allowing me to teach high school students not only necessary skills in the fine arts and crafts but also how art can help you get through tough times. College is a big step for me as well as my family, but it’s a step I will take. Lesley University awaits me, and I plan on giving them my all, just like I gave Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School.

Camilla Prata

Caio, Vilmar, Camilla and Claudia Prata. 

I spent my freshman and sophomore year at the Martha’s Vineyard Public Charter School, which I enjoyed very much. However, I decided to transfer to the regional high school, to play tennis on the girl’s tennis team and take advanced classes. Taking these harder courses helped me get the Martha’s Vineyard Vision Fellowship Scholarship. Being awarded this scholarship was very beneficial to me because it helped me take part in an internship over the summer for two years at the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital with Dr. Karen Casper, and also helped me financially. I am very excited that I will be attending the University of Massachusetts at Amherst in the fall. I will be on the pre-med track, in hopes of one day becoming a doctor. I am grateful to have attended the past four years in these wonderful schools, and I hope my project with the Martha’s Vineyard Vision Fellowship will help the Martha’s Vineyard community greatly.

Paulo Pereira

Paulo Pereira Jr., the class essayist, delivers his speech at graduation. 

During graduation, I felt a sense of accomplishment and a sense of pride. I felt accomplished and prideful because all of the hard work and effort that I put into everything paid off. Graduating from high school was an achievement in itself, as I was born in Brazil and grew up in America dreaming of getting a higher education. Navigating between these two cultures shaped me into the person I am today, and made me a strong and resilient person, and I am now making my dream of going to college a reality. I am thankful for my parents, who taught me how to dream hard and work even harder. I am grateful for my brother, educators, mentors, peers, and friends who challenged me and believed in me. I am grateful for MV Youth and the scholarship that I was awarded, as it equates to a full ride at the college of my choice. I am thankful for every hand that helped me get to this point in my life. I will become the first in my family to embark on the journey to college, and with this accomplishment comes great responsibility. I strive to set high expectations for my younger brother to follow. My high school experience — well, to keep it simple, let’s just say it was an experience. There were good times, and there were bad times throughout the four years. In the near future, I plan on either studying medicine to become an orthopedic surgeon or studying something pertaining to business. Nonetheless, I am very content with my accomplishments these past four years and plan to take every opportunity presented in my direction and turn it into something meaningful in the years to come.

Nayson Perez

This past Sunday I celebrated with my classmates our graduation from MVRHS. I remembered all the good times we had together since elementary school. We celebrate everything we have achieved with a lot of effort. We said goodbye and wished each other good luck in this new stage of our lives. I look forward to going to the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. I chose this university because of the programs and opportunities it offers, and because it is one of the best public universities in New England. I have been blessed with the MV Youth Scholarship, and I am determined to explore and experiment so that I can find my passion.

Ana Della

During my four years in high school, many people kept telling me how fast everything was going to pass. But I’ve never felt like that up until graduation day. From our entrance to the moment we threw our caps up, and then, in a blink of an eye, we were done with this chapter in our lives. I felt as if I was watching a movie about my life, with everything I lived and learned. It is a feeling of finishing one cycle and starting another. We feel happy despite the fact that we have no idea what awaits us in the next few years. All the speeches resonated with me, each had different stories but with the same purpose of wishing success and happiness, to show that we should be proud to be where we are. Graduation is the day that I will keep forever in my heart, with much affection and joy.