What Comes Next? Senior Plans After Graduation


Yahir Ramirez (’22) and Lindsay Bernard (’22) Photo credit: Asher Ballantine

Rachel Ledoux, Writer

After four years of hard work, the class of 2022 will be graduating and completing their time as Bellows Free Academy students on June 11. 

The Mercury released a survey to graduating seniors about their plans after high school, where students could share where they would be going and what they would be doing.

According to the survey, the majority of the 80 respondents will be going to college, with 80 percent of the respondents stating that they will be moving on to trade school, college or university.

Students were also asked what schools they will be attending; some that were mentioned included The University of Vermont, the Culinary Institute of America and the Rochester Institute of Technology.

Additionally, 5 percent of respondents said they will be joining the military. 

Dominick Brock (‘22), one of the respondents, said that he will be working as an independent cinematographer and completing his own movie.

A little over 10 percent of respondents said they will be going directly into the workforce.

The survey also asked students if they will be staying in Vermont or going elsewhere. 

Of the 80 respondents, 30 said they will remain in Vermont, 20 said they will remain in New England and 21 said they will remain in the U.S. Additionally, four of the respondents said that they will be moving to a new country, and five said that they were unsure.

Students also had thoughts to share surrounding their post-graduation goals.  Some aimed to become entrepreneurs and business owners.

“After completing my business degree, I plan to open my own bakery,” Hailey Hatin (‘22) said.

Others hoped to be successful.

“I want to pursue my definition of success,” Cael Gonyeau (‘22) said.

Others just wanted to better themselves and the world.

“I will hopefully be somewhere taking my life seriously and spreading good, as I finally want to, because I haven’t taken life as anything [until] recently,” Jonathan Douglas (‘22) said.

One of the most interesting pieces of information gained from the survey was that two BFA seniors who will be attending Harvard next year.

Harvard-Bound: Lindsay Bernard and Yahir Ramirez

This year, BFA will be sending not one, but two, seniors to Harvard University.  Lindsay Bernard (‘22) and Yahir Ramirez (‘22) will be joining the Harvard class of 2026. The Mercury got the chance to interview them about this accomplishment.

“It’s pretty surreal,” Bernard said. She added, “I still can’t believe it.”

According to Bernard and Yahir, their college results came out on the same day, at the same time. 

Bernard, one of this year’s valedictorians, said that she found out about each of her 15 application results during a band concert.

“I was checking a different email after each song,” Bernard said.

Bernard, who also got into Yale, Dartmouth and several other schools, said she was in tears after reading her acceptance email from Harvard.

Ramirez, however, said that he had the opposite approach to opening his emails.

“I waited three hours after the emails came out,” Ramirez said. “I went to church and prayed, [then] got back and opened them one by one.”

According to Ramirez, who applied to 30 colleges, it had been a steady stream of rejections until he read the last email, where he found out that he had been accepted into Harvard.

While Harvard students typically don’t declare a major until their sophomore year, both Ramirez and Bernard are interested in political studies at Harvard, with Ramirez planning to major in government and Bernard keeping her options open. 

“I’m interested in a lot of different subjects,” Bernard said. She added, “So I definitely want to explore those, and some subjects I haven’t gotten to yet.”

When filling out the senior survey, Ramirez shared his goals as a Harvard student, as well.

“My goal is to enhance my knowledge of the political world and hopefully make an impact to help people live better lives,” Ramirez said.

When asked if they had any advice to give students shooting for the Ivy Leagues, the two had this to say.

“Just be yourself,” Bernard said. “They don’t necessarily want the person with the highest GPA or best grades.”

Ramirez backed this up.

“Try to make your extracurriculars stand out, but don’t feel pressured to submit your SAT or ACT scores.”  Ramirez added, “I didn’t.”

As a final note, Ramirez gave students a tip.

“Even if you don’t know you’re going to get into a school, you should apply. It’s always worth the risk,” Ramirez said.