Fall River Youth of the Year Finalist

Atlantis senior Ayla Roias Named a Finalist for Youth of the Year

Upper School Principal Dan Bossolt with Ayla Roias

On Thursday, March 21, Atlantis senior Ayla Roias and eight other high school seniors from Fall River schools were recognized during a ceremony at Durfee’s Granite Grille honoring the finalists for Fall River Youth of the Year. Each received a citation from Fall River Mayor Paul Coogan.

The Youth of the Year award is sponsored by Partners for a Healthier Community and the Mayor’s Office to recognize the contributions and accomplishments of the young people of Fall River. For the past 17 years, the announcement of the finalists coincides with Absolutely Incredible Kids Day.

Pictured from left to right: Jodie Fernandes, Ayla Roias, Jennifer Pinhal, and Dan Bossolt

Ayla was nominated for Youth of the Year by her AP Biology teacher, Jodie Fernandes. In her nomination letter, Fernandes wrote that Ayla is a “well-rounded, resilient, and compassionate individual who has not only excelled academically, but has also contributed significantly to her community.”

She is the top student in her class, a member of the National Honor Society and excels in her advanced placement classes. After school, she volunteers reading to a 2nd grade special education class, plays on the Atlantis volleyball team, and has a part-time job at CVS.

“She’s an example of what happens when a student works very hard to reach her goals and has a village behind her to help her get there. I’m privileged to be a part of that village,” said Atlantis Upper School principal Dan Bossolt.

Ayla plans to attend Worcester Polytechnic Institute to major in architectural engineering and mathematical sciences. She hopes to be a professional engineer in five years.

“Women make up the fastest-growing segment of the STEM workforce and are in high demand. I think Ayla will go far,” said guidance counselor Jennifer Pinhal. “I can see her working for a big corporation, but I hope she will return to Fall River one day and continue motivating the youth and giving back to her community.”

“As a school committed to nurturing young talent and fostering economic development on the South Coast and beyond, seeing Ayla’s journey align with our mission is gratifying,” said Robert Beatty, executive director of Atlantis. “She is another great example of the impact our students can have on both a local and global scale.”

This week, the finalists also received a citation from the Fall River City Council.

Fall River Youth of the Year finalists with Mayor Paul Coogan

The Youth of the Year award went to B.M.C. Durfee senior Emma McDonnell. Durfee senior Eshal Zahra was named first runner-up.

The other finalists are:

Elizabeth Kinnane – Diman Regional Vocational Technical High School

Eva Bhandari – B.M.C. Durfee High School

Inez Medeiros – Diman Regional Vocational Technical High School

Julia Hargraves – B.M.C. Durfee High School

Maggie O’Connell – B.M.C. Durfee High School

Rachel Lemma – B.M.C. Durfee High School

You can watch the entire awards ceremony on Fall River Educational Television: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cCnJ0sRPkKE



Stay informed. Get the Newsletter!