Braintree High Student Press

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Braintree High Student Press

Braintree High Student Press

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Calvin O’Brien’s Journey to the University of Chicago

Calvin+OBrien
Calvin O’Brien

Braintree High senior Calvin O’Brien is attending the University of Chicago next year to study astrophysics. Calvin, an overachiever near the top of his class, is one of many low income students in the country who applied to college using QuestBridge.

“QuestBridge is a program for low income students like myself to give them scholarships to high class universities like the university of Chicago, they partner with about 50 different schools and it’s like an application portal just like the common app,” Calvin told me.

Resources like QuestBridge provide opportunities to less fortunate students. What’s interesting about Calvin’s story is the way he found out about QuestBridge.

“I didn’t learn about QuestBridge through Braintree High School, I had to learn about it through a local visit by the University of Chicago, because they are one of their best partner schools,” said O’Brien.

Calvin’s story is one of pulling himself up by his bootstraps, but he still believes schools could do more to aid low income students.

“I’d definitely say increasing programs to diminish the gap between students who are low income, and students who are relatively average income for the town, like ending the stigma on borrowing chromebooks. Increasing awareness about programs like QuestBridge, that can help lower income students on their academic journey. There are plenty of programs that give out tutoring for free that parents are just not being notified about that can really change a person’s life,” O’Brien explained.

QuestBridge is a selective program seen with how in 2021 QuestBridge took only 3,414 students, 89% of which ranked in the top 10% of their class. While QuestBridge is a great resource for helping high achieving low income students, there isn’t a resource like it for low income students who do not perform exceptionally well in school. Calvin sees the lack of resources for average performing low income students as a failure of our current world.

“I’d say it fails them more than it fails people like me, because everyone has the potential to do something great and whether it’s a matter of intelligence or some other factor in their life it shouldn’t be determined by the hand that they were given when they were born,” O’Brien expressed.

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About the Contributor
Eamon Corbo, BHS News, WampTV Reporter
Class of 2024, one semester for BHS News, three semesters for WampTV, amateur journalist, professional cynic.

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