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Student Profiles

Declan McPherson '05

Declan McPherson
"From my first day at BHSEC, I was forced to achieve and pushed to do more than I thought I could." Declan McPherson is a 2005 graduate of Bard High School Early College (BHSEC) Manhattan.  Declan grew up in East Flatbush, NY and attended middle school at Lenox Academy in Carnasie, NY.  He was looking for a challenging high school experience and realized he would not find this at his local high school. BHSEC had just opened its doors and, after interviewing for a spot in the incoming class, he knew this was the school for him.

BHSEC had a profound impact on Declan’s personal and professional trajectory. As he explained, “BHSEC affords children a great opportunity to expand their horizons.  Beginning in the ninth grade, I grew academically and philosophically and BHSEC is solely to thank for my growth. As a young African American male, social statistics do not bode well for me. Had it been left to society’s expectation of my demographic, I should be a member of the prison population. Thankfully, BHSEC has helped me to become a young man who earned his Masters in Political Science at the age of 22. My outlook on life completely changed because of the courses I took.”

The faculty and students at BHSEC had a significant influence on Declan.  “At BHSEC I was given the chance to share a classroom with professors and students I might not otherwise have met. The teachers were not only instructors, but they were truly invested in students’ lives and our well being.” More than anything, BHSEC emphasized the importance of perseverance and patience. As Declan explained, “BHSEC teaches children that truly anything is possible through hard work.”

After graduating from BHSEC, Declan transferred all 60 of the Bard credits he earned at BHSEC to the New York Institute of Technology, where he graduated in two years with a bachelor's degree in English. In May of 2010, Declan earned a master's degree in Political Science from Brooklyn College. He is currently pursing a J.D. at Hofstra University. He hopes to become a law professor and legislative attorney after graduating. Declan credits BHSEC with his success: “I can honestly say that I would not be who I am today without having attended BHSEC. From my first day at BHSEC, I was forced to achieve and pushed to do more than I thought I could.”