On Saturday, November 21, Regis alumnus Brian Reyes ’17 , who also graduated from the REACH Program in 2013, was elected to the American Rhodes Scholar Class of 2021. A current senior at Yale University pursuing a B.A in History, Reyes is one of just 32 Americans to win the highly competitive scholarship to study at the University of Oxford.
"I know I speak on behalf of the entire Regis faculty and staff as well as the broader Regis and REACH communities in saying how proud we are of Brian for this wonderful achievement," Regis President Daniel K. Lahart, SJ, said. "I am also grateful for his passion for Regis as demonstrated by the leading role he has played as an alumnus in our ongoing conversations and work on racial justice."
More than 2,300 students began the application process for this year’s program, and 953 of them were formally endorsed by 288 different colleges and universities. Independently selected by 16 committees across the country, Reyes and 31 other American Rhodes Scholars were recognized for their academic excellence, as well as their concerns for the welfare of others.
At Oxford, Reyes plans to complete a Master of Philosophy degree in Comparative Social Policy. He plans to then attend law school and work in either the government or nonprofit sector, where he hopes to innovate legal strategies and policy ideas to advance workers' rights and economic and racial equity more broadly.
"As a young middle schooler, REACH staff and educators were the first people to really show me what it meant to dedicate your days and nights to serving others, a personal mission that I've held ever since. I often say that Regis later transformed my life trajectory through all the gifts it gave me, ranging from critical thinking skills to a band of brothers I'm still in touch with," Reyes said. "My main hope with regards to Regis, the same wish I had when I graduated almost four years ago, is that it commit itself to extending that transformational capacity to other kids like me--working-class kids, prospective first-generation college students, children of immigrants, and so on--and I'm elated to be working with all the members of the Regis community that have recently come together to work towards this mission. In any case, at the end of the day it takes a village to get to a point like this, and REACH and Regis have been crucial parts of mine."