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Profile of an NECC Artist

Colorful artwork image: Northern Essex Community College. National Hispanic Hertiage month 2014.

Angel Augusto, NECC student, artist

Angel Augusto, NECC student, artist

This country was founded on the concept of immigration. Immigrants from all around the world have arrived by land, air and sea with one idea in mind: opportunity. Opportunity for a better education; opportunity for better work; opportunity for a better life. NECC is committed to celebrate the diversity of cultures, especially when both campuses, Haverhill & Lawrence, are located in mill cities. The cities were home to thousands of European immigrants who came ashore to work in the mills during the country’s Industrial Revolution.

The most recent wave of immigrants include Latin Americans from Dominican Republic, Guatemala, El Salvador, Mexico and Honduras. From September 15th to October 15th is Hispanic Heritage Month, when we celebrate the many contributions and successes of Latinos in this country including one of NECC’s own, Angel Augusto. Angel arrived in the United States four years ago, when he had to abruptly leave behind the progress he had made in Santo Domingo. Like other immigrants, he had to start over in a foreign place. By the time his legal US residency was approved, Angel was half way through his Art Degree at the local university in DR and living on his own. He had also won a national advertisement competition, which opened many professional doors. However, a month later Angel found himself landing in Logan Airport in Boston with no intentions of moving back to his hometown.

Angel found himself working the midnight shift at a factory earning minimum wage. During this time, he took ESL courses at the Adult Learning Center in Lawrence and after six months, he enrolled at NECC and tested out of ESL. His biggest sacrifice to date is going to college as a full-time student, not working and sleeping on the family sofa. In order for him to finish in a timely manner, he knew he needed to invest all his time into education. While this may not be an option for everyone, the support and encouragement of his parents helped greatly.

Once enrolled at NECC, Angel took advantage of the college’s support system such as the PACE program and faculty advising which helped him overcome the fears and doubts of a community college education. An artist by trade, Angel took part of several art projects and competitions including winning the design for the 2014 NECC Commencement shirt. He also had the privilege of working with our Title V Director, Gisela Nash, who is responsible for the college’s Hispanic Heritage Month celebration. Angel designed the new poster (on far left) and the bookmarks (top of page).

With the help of the PACE program, Angel will attend Mass College of Art and Design, a highly selective college. A fan of Pop Art, specifically a huge fan of Andy Warhol, Angel believes that “less is more.” An advice that goes beyond art and design, Angel advises his NECC peers to get involved and stay focused in order to finish on time. The less time you take to pass your courses and staying on path, the more likely you are to successfully complete your degree.

Colorful artwork banner with quote: "Hispanics: a legacy of history, a present of action and a future of success."