Lynn English High School senior Erignacio Fermin Perez has a very important decision to make in his life.
The school’s Class of 2021 valedictorian, Fermin Perez will choose this week whether he will matriculate at Harvard College in Cambridge or Yale University in New Haven as an incoming freshman. Both Ivy League institutions are among the most prestigious schools in the world.
He received Early Action admission to Harvard in December. He was accepted to Yale earlier this month.
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Fermin Perez hasn’t been able to participate in an extensive visit or tour of the two universities.
“I wanted to visit the campuses and embrace the environment, the lifestyle, and the student life, but COVID-19 has really held me back,” said Fermin Perez. “I have been talking with students from the two universities to hear their decision-making process and why they chose the school they did.”
He knows the illustrious histories of Harvard and Yale and that both schools have many distinguished alumni. “I love history and I love schools with a lot of significant history to them,” said Fermin Perez. “
He has received advice as he prepares to make his college decision. One of his most treasured advisers has been Lynn English guidance counselor Matt Wilkins, who has helped the high honor roll student through the college admissions process.
“Mr. Wilkins has been saying that both colleges are great options,” said Fermin Perez. “He said to pick whatever university is going to make you the happiest.”
Many Contributors to his Success
Fermin Perez stands tall as a personal success story with many supporters along the way: his mother, Claribel, who brought the family here from the Dominican Republic when he was a young boy; the faculty at Lynn English; and the Lynn English JROTC, led by Sgt. Major Kenneth Oswald. Fermin Perez has served as the ROTC’s Cadet Commanding Officer.
And Fermin Perez also expressed his personal gratitude to Wilkins, his guidance counselor during his four years at English.
“Mr. Wilkins has definitely been there through everything,” said Fermin Perez. “He’s an amazing mentor and an amazing person in general. He’s always someone who can give you great advice and guidance.”
A Product of the Lynn Schools
Fermin Perez, whose nickname is “Eddy,” was born in the Dominican Republic and came to the United States as a young boy with his mother, Claribel Perez. He also has an older sister, Erisbel, 21.
He attended Ingalls Elementary School and then moved on to Marshall Middle School for grades 6-8. His academic talents flourished in the Lynn school system, receiving Principal’s Awards and other academic honors.
“I had such a great experience in the elementary and middle schools,” said Fermin Perez. “The principal [Molly Cohen] at Marshall Middle School was amazing. She’s an incredible person and an incredible leader.”
A resident of East Lynn, he chose to attend Lynn English School where he enjoyed his academic and extracurricular experience.
“The principals and vice principals at English were great to me,” said Fermin Perez, who is a member of the National Honor Society. “Sgt. Major Kenneth Oswald and Master Sgt. Gerald Goncalo have been great leaders and mentors to me.”
It was Fermin Perez’s friend and classmate, Tyler Generazzo (“He’s very accomplished, a great person and friend, and he’ll be attending the United States Air Force Academy,” noted Fermin Perez) who encouraged him to join Lynn English’s highly successful ROTC program.
“It [ROTC] was absolutely life-changing, very impactful to me,” said Fermin Perez. “It made me use my potential and be a leader and step out of my comfort zone, and it helped me build camaraderie with people, and do things I never thought possible.”
During his career, English’s JROTC team traveled to many states, including New York, Virginia, Florida, and Tennessee. The team won multiple national championships.
In addition to JROTC, Fermin is a member of Friends of Rachel’s Club and La Vida Scholars.
Fermin Perez began visiting colleges during his sophomore year at English.
“I visited Harvard and Harvard Yard,” he said.
He expects to make his Harvard versus Yale decision this weekend. He recalled the day he received his first acceptance notification from Harvard in December.
“I was through the roof, so excited,” said Fermin Perez. “I said to my mother, ‘Mom, I got into Harvard’, and she looked at me like, “Did you really? She almost didn’t believe me. We were hugging and we were very happy. She’s definitely proud of me.”
He is not sure what his field of study will be at Harvard or Yale, but you get the sense that Erignacio “Eddy” Fermin Perez – a great student ambassador for the Lynn school district – may be choosing between Harvard and Yale again for law school or graduate school four years from now.
He’s an outstanding young man with a bright future ahead.