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The Right Choice

A scholarship has special powers. Just ask John Ferraro ’22.

John Ferraro ’22  Photograph by Gretchen Ertl

The fifteenth annual Boston College Law Scholarship Dinner—held at the Boston Harbor Hotel on April 7—celebrated the community’s commitment to outstanding BC Law students. It was a poignant night, marked with gratitude and togetherness, as the tradition returned in-person after two years interrupted by the pandemic.

John Ferraro ’22 capped off the evening with some moving words. A member of the executive board of the Boston College Law Review and co-president of the BC Law Student Association, he considered in his speech the certainties (and lack thereof) that accompany leaving a professional career to attend law school; the generosity of the donors who made his education possible; and the indelible marks BC Law, his mentors, and classmates have left on him. Below is an excerpt from his remarks.

“For me, the law school application process felt like taking shots in the dark. In terms of picking a school to attend, I felt I was on shaky ground.…The choice…was one of, if not the, most important choices of my life.

“I cannot know the future—nobody can. But I can be certain that in my three years at BC, I have grown, become resilient and capable.”

John Ferraro ’22

“My work before law school [as a digital media buyer] was informed by clicks and digital checkout rates, and my undergrad training was heavy on statistics and econometrics.…And indeed, I chose BC mostly based on numbers—especially because of a generous aid package. My scholarship package, supported by donors like those in this room, helped ease some of the financial uncertainty that comes with leaving a career and returning to school full-time.

“But data doesn’t always provide the full picture. Data is rigid, and inherently limited. It doesn’t capture a school’s “softer” qualities—its community, its camaraderie, its supportiveness.… As I began my time at BC, moments of confirmation, moments that escaped quantification, kept coming and coming and coming. I drew my inspiration to be as active in the BC community as I possibly could.…I took a position as a teacher assistant for the first-year research and writing course, hoping to help 1Ls with the sudden adjustment to law school.…Through these experiences, in addition to my time in the classroom, I learned, I grew, and I like to think I became a bit better each day.

“The past three years have been worthwhile work, because…the greatest fulfillment comes from knowing that maybe, somewhere down the line, I might be to someone else what [so many fellow Eagles] were for me: people to whom I owe so much gratitude, and who made me believe I was becoming the best version of myself, and made me certain that BC was the right choice.

“The late Professor Catharine Wells…shared with my classmates and me her thoughts about the uncertain world of today: that it is a great gift. That without question my classmates and I had a place in this world, that we have an opportunity to engage life on terms we define for ourselves, and that we have a great deal to give in the future. “I think Professor Wells was exactly right. I cannot know the future—nobody can. But I can be certain that in my three years at BC, I have grown, become resilient and capable. And I can be certain that I move into the world with the thing I’ve gained at BC of which I’m the most proud: a group of peers, mentors, professors, supporters, and friends who will be unfailingly reliable. And I can always be certain BC was the right choice.”