PrideTime Arts & Entertainment Editor
“Gaffney has taught me to trust yourself because you’re capable of doing whatever you set your mind to. Having a support group of others your age going through the same situation you are makes you feel like you have a safe haven,” says Ashley Orozco.
Orozco, a senior in The Matthew Gaffney Foundation, has been recently accepted into Colgate University and will be attending in the fall.
The Matthew Gaffney Foundation is a program in that provides college services to highly motivated, academically successful but economically disadvantaged students. Starting midway through junior year, the program helps with SAT tutoring, the financial aid process, college essays, and much more for no cost. Students in the Gaffney Program have been accepted and received financial aid (75% to 100% full scholarships) from top colleges and universities such as Harvard, Princeton, Williams and Bates.
As we are entering the second semester of the school year, the senior Gaffney students are being accepted into colleges, while a new group has been selected. This year, four individuals from Brien McMahon were given the opportunity to join this group: Daphne Ochoa, Shirel Salinas, Brianna Herrera, and Pamela Reinoso.
Ochoa says, “I was so happy when I found out that I had been accepted into The Gaffney Foundation. When we had the information meeting in school they talked about how competitive it was to get into this program, so I didn’t want to get my hopes up. Once I had been told I was accepted it felt like an accomplishment.”
Although the juniors have been recently accepted into this helpful, yet challenging program, they still have to work hard to reach their final goal.
“I feel like what I’m most nervous about is the amount of work it will be. One of the seniors explained how we are doing twice as much work than other kids, just because we got into the program doesn’t mean that doors will open automatically. However we do go one step at a time and that makes me a lot less nervous,” Ochoa explains.
Both Orozco and Ochoa agree that The Gaffney Program is an opportunity that shouldn’t be taken for granted.
When asked on what advice to give the underclassmen who are striving to be in a similar position, Ochoa said, “This isn’t something available to everyone and the fact that we have the chance to be able to be in such an amazing program is incredible. Junior year comes so fast, we need to work hard now so we have a better future once we leave McMahon.”