Meet the 2021 Stella and Emmanuel Mavridis Scholarship Winners and Finalists

Each year the English High School Alumni & Friends Tutoring Program, established and supported by a gift in memory of Stella and Emmanuel Mavridis, awards promising English High students who are planning to attend college with a scholarship grant. Winners and finalists are chosen on the basis of a personal essay.

About the Stella and Emmanuel Mavridis Scholarship Program

George Mavridis

The Scholarship Program was created to honor the memories of Stella and Emmanuel Mavridis, the parents of George Mavridis. Emmanuel graduated from The English High School in 1926 having immigrated from Greece as a teen-ager. Emmanuel made his way in his new city of Boston as a restaurant worker.
As a father, Emmanuel always stressed the importance of education to his son George and when George became a successful businessman, he was inspired to “give back” to his father’s alma mater, The English High School.

Below we introduce you to the 2021 winners and finalists and share a segment of their essay.

Thomas Thermidor and his Mom

Thomas Thermidor, EHS ’21
Mavridis Scholarship Winner

Future Plans: Babson University, Business Major

His Essay: “The Formation of a Young Man’s Journey” Thomas’ essay was recognized for the strength and depth of the story told, sharing and exploring the influence of both his father and his mother. This powerful essay stayed with each of the readers.

Essay Excerpt:
Since migrating to “the land of opportunity” (The United States of America), my mother is basically the “breadwinner” stealing the spotlight from my father and being the sole provider for three boys: Me and my two older brothers. My father is still living in Haiti, doing whatever he can to motivate himself to work since he doesn’t have to care for a family anymore. What, if anything, could he do for us here? It’s not like the Haitian Currency is as high as it is for the U.S. Well, no! It’s not. In fact, my father couldn’t be a provider for us here even if he wanted to, while working at the supermarket. My father is what one would call “Fat Thor ” from the Avenger’s Endgame. No passion for saving the world unless there is good cold beer or in my father’s term,”a family to watch over”. My mother is a strong passionate woman who always does her best to look like the pressure she is putting herself through has no consequences, but more often than not her face ends up looking like the famous woman from the Great Depression. My mother is the sole provider for us. She sometimes works two or more jobs if her salary does not cover our needs. Despite my mothers condition of having to take care of three boys, she always puts great emphasis on giving back in Haiti because she believes that equity is everyone’s right no matter who you are. She believes that, “If the shoe can still be worn, then the shoe doesn’t have to be thrown away because somebody else can still use the shoe”. My mother means a great deal to me and her strong emphasis on sharing the shoe is the same premise of the United States idealism. It is that fundamental mental belief that I am my brother’s keeper, I am my sister’s keeper, that makes this country work and that is the true genius of America. My mom’s eagerness to give to people despite her financial situation has always been a big mystery to me: “How can someone be so generous even in hard times?” Now I want to make it my objective to one day give back if I’m ever able to do so.

My mother not only instills in me the value of giving back, but similar to my father, the art of working hard to achieve your dreams and goals. That is something I think I’ll take with me for the rest of my life.

Brandy Rosario Cordero

Brandy Rosario Cordero, EHS ’21
Mavridis Scholarship Winner
Class Valedictorian

Future Plans: UMass Boston, Criminal Justice Major

Essay: “Super Mom” Brandy’s essay was recognized for its poetic sentence structure, use of description and metaphor. In addition, the essay was tightly structured, sharing her mother’s story succinctly and powerfully. As Mr. Mavridis commented, the essay was “The length of a piece of string”–meaning, it was just long enough to do the job, no more and no less.

Essay Excerpt:
Life gave her two choices: improve her quality of life by coming to this country, but leave her family behind, or stay in the Dominican Republic working multiple jobs to afford the basic necessities. That’s when her light bulb turned on and she decided to come to this country and leave my brother and myself under the care of my grandmother until she was able to bring us here. She fought like lions defending their territory to accomplish her goal. Ladies and gentlemen, after 7 years we were able to come together as the family we always knew we would be, and today we all have a better quality of life because of the choices she made.

She is also accomplishing her dream of becoming a nurse. My mother: a clear example that hard work always pays off.

Celia Avila Naranjo

Celia Avila Naranjo, EHS ’21
Mavridis Scholarship Finalist
Class Salutatorian

Essay :”My Sweet Angel” Nina’s essay was recognized for strong description, complexity, her ability to invoke a feeling of memory, and for telling the story of both her sister and her mother.






Yanci with Caitlin Murphy, Head of School at English High School

Yanci Lopez Guillen, EHS ’21
Mavridis Scholarship Finalist

Essay: “Serendipity” Yanci’s essay was recognized for being well organized and clearly written. In particular, she painted a strong portrait of her grandfather. Reader’s felt that they “knew him” and could “see him” based on her loving descriptions.

Essay Excerpt:
He used to tell me that he wanted me to join my parents in the United States, for me to meet them and be happy with them and have a future. Even though his words meant something, his eyes said something else. I could tell it hurt him every time he said that to me because I could see the sadness in his eyes, and a couple of times, the tears running down through his red cheeks and trying to hide them from me by turning his face to the other side and claiming it was because something got into his eyes. Until one day he said to me, ¨I want you to succeed and have a better life than us. I want for you to be happy and not suffer like we all have. If you stay here, you won’t be able to succeed. I don’t want that for you. I care for you like my own daughter and no one can change that.¨ I promised I would succeed just as he wanted. He motivated me and helped me find meaning in life and grow up at a young age.

I knew it would be hard to go in many aspects, from leaving everything behind to starting completely new. Exchanging something I loved, treasured so much for something else completely new and foreign with a lot of unknown upcoming events. His overall presence gave me the strength and motivation to step forward to that goal. I promised him I would succeed and once succeeding, I would help him succeed even further with me on his side. I wanted to help him accomplish his dream to have his own official company in the United States to provide more job opportunities for people that need it and to once again see his oldest daughter, my mom. Sadly, he left us way before I could step forward to start the journey to that promise. Once losing him, that motivation, all hopes banished along with him. It took me a couple of years to find them back again just to lose them again along with someone else to whom I had made a similar promise, and then gain them once again. This time, I would make sure to not lose them again. Even if there have been times where I have lost hopes and motivation, those won’t be the last, but I will still go forward and look back to those promises as a motor in life to make me strong.

Because no matter how hard it can be, my success would be an honor for them for being great role models in my life, for teaching me very important values and for helping me to find a reason to succeed.

As English High alumni we all take pride in these young people. Like so many of us had to, they have overcome barriers and deserve our support. They are our future.