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Chelsea Sellers

NECC Faces Chelsea Sellers

Chelsea Sellers has had a lot of life experience in her 25 years but something was missing. What she didn’t have was a college degree and she felt this was holding her back, limiting what she could accomplish.

When Chelsea graduated from high school in 2002, she left New England and moved to Hawaii where she had what she called an “amazing job” as the assistant coordinator of a recycling program. After earning a massage therapy license and working in Hawaii for several years, she was offered a job in San Francisco and went there to live.

Family brought her back to the area and she started waitressing full time to pay the bills. This is when she began to realize “there was a ceiling on what I could accomplish without a degree and more importantly without further education and knowledge.”

She decided to apply for financial aid and was thrilled to learn she qualified. Chelsea is now in her second semester, balancing full-time waitressing with three college courses. She has combined traditional classroom courses with online courses, allowing her to fit more courses into her schedule.

While Chelsea admits it is hard juggling work with school, she loves her classes (even math!) and encourages others to take the leap. “I was really nervous about going back to school but I’ve discovered that I can do it and it’s actually enjoyable and not nearly as awful and hard as I anticipated. I’m continuing to uncover strengths and skills I didn’t realize I had.”

Chelsea’s doesn’t have a clear educational goal at this point but she’s truly enjoying the learning process. Her plan is to graduate from Northern Essex with an associate degree and then transfer to a four-year university.

As Chelsea says “College is an investment; an investment in yourself and life. It is very empowering, allowing you to be free and follow your heart.”