School Talk

A Beautiful Life Cut Way Too Short

Edwin Rivera was my student in 8th grade—a kind, optimistic, and hardworking young man who aspired to be a United States Marine at the time that I knew him. He was in 8th grade then. Edwin passed away on New Year’s Day after a long hard battle with cancer. Below is the announcement put out by the school where I was blessed to meet him.

Edwin Rivera, founding Blackstone Valley Prep Middle School 1 and and founding Blackstone Valley Prep High School scholar, passed away January 1, 2019, at the young age of 19.

Edwin’s life was an inspiration to all those around him. Edwin’s perseverance and enthusiasm were such that the staff at Blackstone Valley Prep High School initiated the BVPHS Edwin Rivera PRIDE Award in his honor. “Edwin represents so much of what is good in the world, and so much of what we want people to aspire to be – who WE aspire to be. With this award, his legacy and his smile will forever be a part of our BVP community” said David Jose, Dean of College and Careers. He was awarded the inaugural honor on November 14, 2018 in a special ceremony at the high school.

Edwin fought against Ewing sarcoma, a rare form of cancer, the same way he lived his life, with perseverance and enthusiasm. His optimism was contagious, as was captured in an inspiring and powerful NBC News feature ( “Edwin was the kind of person you meet once in your lifetime, and whether it was a brief encounter or a years-long relationship, you were changed because of his humility, positivity and genuine kindness. I can honestly say that I am a better person for having known him,” Dr. Michaela Keegan, Head of School, Blackstone Valley Prep High School.

Edwin is survived by his father, Jorge Rivera, his caretaker Yasmin and her son Nigel, the incredible Hasbro Hospital staff who cared for and loved him, his close friend and former BVP International Exchange Student Antonia Forster, and the entire BVP school community.

Blackstone Valley Prep will have counselors on hand throughout the week for staff, scholars, alumni, or families who need to talk. A celebration of life and memorial will be held for all members of the BVP school community at 3PM on Friday, January 4, 2019 at the BVPHS gymnasium, 65 Macondray Road, Cumberland, Rhode Island.

Donations can be made to the Tomorrow Fund Clinic at Rhode Island Hospital (


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