How One Student’s Scholarship Became a Stepping Stone

Dario Guerrero

For most college students, a dislocated ankle would be a great excuse to skip a career-oriented field trip. Not Dario Guerrero Jr. ’21, who used a scooter to keep up with his classmates in New York City last fall while they visited companies like Google and Bloomingdale’s as part of Babson’s Hoffman Family Undergraduate Center for Career Development’s Marketing Retail Tech Trek.

Anecdotes like that help explain why Guerrero and Babson are such a great fit for each other. On one hand, you have Guerrero, who grew up in public housing in working-class Lawrence, Massachusetts, to parents who always stressed the value of college. On the other, you have Babson, whose mission is to use an entrepreneurial education to equip students like Guerrero to pursue rewarding personal and professional lives.

Opening Doors from Day One

For Guerrero, the benefits of being a Babson student became immediately apparent. He and fellow Lawrence High School graduate Alenny Acevedo ’21 received their Diversity Leadership Awards—four-year, full-tuition scholarships—in March 2017. Ian Lapp, dean of the Undergraduate School, was there to personally handed the acceptance letters to Guerrero and Acevedo. Also involved in the presentation of the awards were James Rullo MBA’85, a Babson trustee and fellow Lawrence native, as well as Kevin Sullivan, Babson’s vice president of strategic corporate relations and engagement and the former mayor of Lawrence.

Guerrero, who had been told growing up that he would be his hometown’s mayor one day, quickly realized that their presence was more than ceremonial. Both Sullivan and Rullo have been active figures in Guerrero’s life at Babson, offering guidance and support as he immersed himself in the Babson community.

Just as Rullo and Sullivan were proud to give back to the community they came from, Guerrero also has returned to Lawrence High to mentor students from backgrounds similar to his.

“I understood that, for many kids in Lawrence, the hope is typically just to graduate high school,” Guerrero says. “There aren’t any expectations around college, so my goal when I was meeting with them was to answer any questions they had and explain that getting into and affording a top college like Babson is more possible than they realize.”

Beyond getting into Babson, Guerrero stressed to them how life-changing the college experience can be. That sneaker convention (Boston Got Sole) he had attended before starting at Babson? Its co-founder, Jonathan DiModica ’21, lived down the hall from him when Guerrero was a first-year student. Never traveled far? You may find yourself like he did, on an all-expenses paid trip to a Black Affinity Network Leadership Retreat in Atlanta, or eyeing a semester abroad in Australia for his junior year.

“I wasn’t the top student in my class, and I understand thinking you don’t deserve to go to college, but I want them to know that, like me, they have so much to offer. Lawrence makes you special, and I recognize that while I’m lucky to be here, Babson wouldn’t be the same without me.”

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