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LETTER: Fall River native walking from Fall River to Boston in memory of friend who passed away

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“My name is Charlie Martin and I am a Fall River native and member of the Boston College Class of 2021. I am raising money to start a scholarship in memory of Brendan S. Rockett, my lifelong best-friend, a Fall River native, a Durfee High School graduate and previously a member of the BC Class of 2021. The scholarship will be in his name, and be specifically for Durfee graduates in Fall River who aspire to go to Boston College. To raise money and awareness for this cause, I will be walking from my hometown of Fall River to BC for our upcoming graduation.

“I knew Brendan my entire life; we went to preschool, elementary, high school and college together. We became best friends in the third grade at Tansey Elementary and from then on you could always find us all over the neighborhood and exploring the north side of Fall River. For those that knew him, he was always a man of character, a loyal friend, a great and competitive athlete and someone who cared for and loved his friends and family deeply. To me, he was a second brother. After we had been friends for years, we found out that we had even been baptized together.

“When I enrolled here at BC, I did so with Brendan. He lived in Duchesne East on Newton Campus and I lived in Fitzpatrick Hall on Upper, before we were direct roommates in Walsh Hall our sophomore year. May 2021 has finally arrived and I’m poised to graduate from Boston College, yet, I’ll be doing so without my best friend Brendan Rockett here with me physically, who passed away shortly after our sophomore year at BC. At times our experience at BC was difficult and isolated; there were next to no Durfee graduates or Fall River natives and it would sometimes seem like we didn’t fit in at such a place. Yet, I’d like to change this. With the scholarship being specifically for Durfee graduates who will attend Boston College, I aim to encourage more students to apply and attend while creating a pipeline of Fall River representation here and a support network for those kids.

“Fall River has an educational attainment rate of 15%, that is 15% of residents 25 years and older have their bachelors degree or greater. This is compared to an overall 44% rate for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and a rate of 79% for Newton, MA, where BC is located. For too long Fall River, one of the largest cities in the state, and Durfee High School, the main high school of the city and one of the largest in the state, have been underrepresented in the educational heart of the state, Boston. Through my walk and my efforts to raise funds for this scholarship, I would also like to encourage and promote future generations of Fall River students to aspire in general to attend the numerable great and prestigious universities in the Boston Metro area.

“So, while I am aiming to create the scholarship in honor of my best friend and former fellow BC student Brendan, the walk and mission will also try and help Fall River, an underserved and underrepresented community. As I honor him, I seek to promote my hometown, the youth, and potential future university and BC students. Hopefully in the future we can encourage more Fall River natives and students to apply and attend Boston College and other prestigious universities in the Boston area.

“All funds will go to the Fall River Scholarship Foundation through which the scholarship will be created. Any donation will help make an impact. Thanks in advance for your contribution to this cause that means so much to me.”

Charlie will begin his walk early on Thursday.

In less than 2 days, Charlie’s cause has already raised over $12,000.

If you are interested in Charlie’s cause, click here.

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