Brittany's Story

From the Boston Globe:

Just months later, on Sept. 28, 2010, Brittany’s half-brother, Levaughn Washum-Garrison, was gunned down — along with his friend Simba Martin, Martin’s girlfriend, Eyanna Flonory, and her 2-year-old son, Amani Smith — in the brutal killings that came to be known as the Mattapan massacre.

That Brittany succeeded in graduating Friday as valedictorian of Match Public Charter High School — that she graduated at all, in circumstances that could have caused her to give up her dreams — is a testament to her belief in her father’s mantra, “Hard work pays off”; to her strong will; and to the support of family and educators.

“I feel like I knew that she had that in her,” said Anjali Nirmalan, who tutored Brittany her first year at Match, which is in Allston. “But the amount that she was up against to do that, the amount of drive that was going to take — I don’t think freshman year I could have known that she would make it all that way."

One of the victims of that shooting was a 2-year-old. 

What's next for Brittany?

In the fall, Brittany will begin studies at UMass Amherst, where she plans to major in chemistry as preparation to study medicine, an interest she discovered over two summer internships at Boston Children’s Hospital.

She admitted having a moment of trepidation about moving from a small high school to a university campus with thousands of students, but said the feeling was fleeting.

“I’m a social butterfly; I’ll get through it,” she said. “Sit next to somebody, make new friends every class.”

Read the whole thing here

Will Brittany succeed in college?  We think so! 

But it'll be a challenge.  For more on the college challenge and how YES Prep is tackling that issue, see this paper