Riera was nominated for the program by Edison counselor Kris Baumgartner. “Paola is a highly motivated, charismatic, positive leader among her peers,” said Baumgartner. “She has the maturity and thoughtful determination to take advantage of the challenge and opportunities that the Harvard Secondary School Program provides.”
At Harvard, Riera will be able to choose from 300 courses in more than 60 liberal arts fields such as biology, math, creative writing and drama. Many of the classes are taught by Harvard faculty who teach the same courses to Harvard undergraduates during the academic year. “I am determined to attend an Ivy League school and being accepted into the Harvard Secondary School Program is a great privilege for me,” Riera said.
Riera was born in Ecuador and immigrated to the United States with her family when she was five years old. Although she could not speak English when she arrived, she is currently fluent in English, Spanish and French. She is ranked second in her class of 180 students and is a member of the National Honor Society.
At Edison, Riera is pursuing the prestigious International Baccalaureate Diploma, a world-renown educational program designed to increase all students learning with a global perspective. “I have worked hard for every single A that I have received,” said Riera. “I never gave up on my goals.”