Letter to the Editor

Analyzing Brazil from afar

Sunday, July 31, 2011

To the Editor:

I am a 22-year-old college student in Boston, but a graduate of Northview High School from the class of 2009.

As a college student, I'd prefer to be awake from 11 to 3 or some similar set of hours.

In Boston, this isn't really a problem, but in Brazil, there aren't a whole lot of choices after 9 and even fewer after 11 (read: None).

Brazil isn't a college town and not every town has to be.

However, I think that there are some fundamental flaws with how the City of Brazil handles itself.

I have no illusions about the fact that this feeling is heavily influenced by my youth, but I believe that to be the point.

Young people are open to change and quick to adapt to new technologies. Are all of the ideas of youth brilliant? Certainly not, but environment is very important.

The current environment fosters little more than, at best, the support of a cycle that allows this community to continue to exist.

But as the community stands, it simply will not grow.

I absolutely believe Northview High School could send at least one student per class to a top-tier school, and perhaps even more.

By top-tier, I mean Harvard, Yale and Stanford.

If you insist on staying closer to home, Northwestern, University of Chicago, Notre Dame, among several others.

The last school is even in the state.

How do we get students who can succeed at top-tier schools? Start by paying a bit more attention to the top of the class. They should be taking AP classes or college classes or even both. And all the advanced coursework in the world won't be enough without some serious preparation for the application process.

The set of schools I applied to was not the most informed set and I had no real idea what those schools wanted to see. I have a lot better ideas now about how to apply to college now than I did then. And I would be perfectly happy to sit down and talk with any student, teacher or administrator about my experience and what I've learned.

So, if you give me a place to sit and talk freely with my friends, will half the conversation be completely asinine? Probably, but I want somewhere to talk because, oddly enough, I'm starting to have real ideas.

If you're perfectly happy with the way things are and see no reason to change, I don't know how to change your mind.

But if you think that maybe, just maybe, I might be on to something and that it might be nice to see more Northview graduates at some of the best colleges and universities in the world, please think about what I've said.

Innovation comes from people with new ideas, people who aren't paralyzed by either fear of failure or love of success.

If you don't think you people can do that, at least we're creating a job.

Devin Ahern,

Cambridge, Mass.