Bronx High Schooler Celebrates Columbia University Acceptance

Seventeen-year old Eduardo Iriarte is the son of Mexican immigrants.

Editor's note:

The following is an excerpt from the New York Daily News article, "Their future is bright: Bronx high schoolers celebrate Ivy League acceptances," published on December 12, 2020. 

December 16, 2020

Seventeen-year old Eduardo Iriarte, the son of Mexican immigrants, said it took witnessing his mom’s disappointment when he hit a rough patch in school during eighth grade to set him straight.

“She said ‘do you want to be a ‘vago,’' a person who doesn’t want to do anything the entire day?” he recalled. “I was like wow this is what my mom thinks of me?”

Eduardo’s mom only finished elementary school herself, and couldn’t counsel him through the U.S. college application process. But she offered him something far more valuable: an unwavering work ethic and steadfast belief in the power of education.

“She always told us I could never give you a great vacation or anything extravagant… but I can give you this, an education,” Eduardo said.

That’s why, when Eduardo found out he’d been accepted to Columbia University on a full scholarship, it was the sight of his mom celebrating next to him that moved him most profoundly.

“I just started crying seeing my mom,” he recalled.

Read the full story at the New York Daily News.