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Partnerships in Lawrence, Mass. Annual Report

Report for the 2012 – 2013 year

SOS Students ans staff at the 2013 Comcast Day, organized by GroundWork.

SOS Students ans staff at the 2013 Comcast Day, organized by GroundWork.

In 2012-2013 NECC retained and developed many active partnerships and reached thousands of individuals through support, programming assistance, and education. NECC strives to foster strong collaborations that provide mutual benefit to our students’ educational experiences as well as to the community’s identified needs. The NECC Office of Community Relations continues to work alongside the City of Lawrence on numerous events and initiatives specifically designed to reach and mobilize the city’s residents.

We are committed to developing productive, collaborative relationships within the college and among our greater constituencies in the greater Merrimack Valley.” – NECC’s Core Value of Collaboration

Community Partners

Lawrence High School

2013 NECC Student Outreach Squad

2013 NECC Student Outreach Squad

During 2012-2013, a formal collaboration was formed with Lawrence High School Humanities and Leadership Academy. The SOS/HLD pilot program was established to serve three important supportive functions at the high school:

  •  To incorporate NECC- SOS students into crucial roles specifically linked to their academic pursuits.
  • Enhance the HLD Academy’s mission by supporting its staff and teachers through a matching process that utilizes SOS students as classroom assistants, peer mentors, and workshop leaders.
  • Build a strong community partnership that could serve to provide a wider group of future NECC students with valuable volunteer opportunities. SOS students assisted with much needed services such as tutoring academically at risk students; providing peer support to students with a family or personal crisis; and assisting faculty with classroom workshops.

The Mayor’s Health Task Force

2012 Oral Health Screening Day at the Lawrence Senior Center

2012 Oral Health Screening Day – Law. Senior Center

The Mayor’s Health Task Force (MHTF) is a strong organizational body, whose main focus is to enhance the health of the Lawrence community through the application of public health policies and initiatives. Many initiatives are developed through the combined effort of numerous community partners, including NECC.
In the past year, SOS, other student volunteers, and NECC staff participated in numerous MHTF sponsored events. Various collaborations developed as a result. Project Impact is a solid example of this type of partnership. In 2012, NECC students assisted the Dana Farber Cancer Institute to survey the citizens of Lawrence to discuss health inequalities and how best to address them. Students gained valuable interviewing experience and a deeper connection to the health issues affecting their neighborhoods. Other similar partnerships include the Diabetes Today Coalition, whose collaboration with local hospitals, Pfizer, the Lawrence Senior Center and NECC, helped organize the annual Lawrence Fiesta de Salud. Also, a partnership with the City of Lawrence and Groundwork Lawrence helped launch Family Fun & Fitness Day.

YWCA of Greater Lawrence

The YWCA serves many local residents on issues including domestic violence support services, counseling for emotional distress, and self-esteem and empowerment activities for women and girls. The Student Outreach Squad has provided supportive volunteer services at several YWCA sponsored events including: The 10th Annual Brides’ March, Women’s Safety & Wellness Day, American Heart Association’s Annual ‘Go Red’ Day, and International Women’s Day, and Take Back the Night, to honor those who perished due to domestic violence and abuse.

2013 Diabetes Today Coalition “Fiesta de Salud”

Diabetes Today Coalition “Fiesta de Salud”

The Diabetes Today Coalition

The Diabetes Today Coalition serves to promote awareness of resources and services to assist and educate residents of Lawrence who are living with diabetes, or at high risk of developing this condition.

NECC staff and SOS, along with NECC Medical Assistant and Respiratory and Nursing students, served in a variety of supportive capacities at the 2012 and 2013 Fiesta de Salud celebration. Our participation at this annual event, which attracts more than 800 local residents, has consistently been well received and welcomed as an essential community support.

The Lawrence Senior Center

The Lawrence Multipurpose Senior Center is the community facility where older adults join together for services and activities that reflect their experience and skills. NECC has a long standing community partnership with the Lawrence Senior Center, in part due to their dual involvement in the City’s Mayor’s Health Task Force and the Diabetes Today Coalition. During 2012-2013, NECC participated in numerous events such as the 2013 Annual Oral Health Fair, Seniors Bake Sale, Earth Day clean up, and Oral Health Day that served older residents of Lawrence as well as the community as a whole.

Ground Works Lawrence (GWL)

GWL and NECC have been a steady community partners on numerous activities. Over the
past year, NECC staff and students worked closely with Groundwork Lawrence on the Annual Comcast Cares/ Earth Day community clean-up; the Spicket River clean-up; the Annual Kite Festival, Family Fun Day; and the annual Glow Gala fundraiser. Two NECC staff are now active members of their Board of Directors

GroundWork Lawrence 2013 Comcast Cares /Earth Day (left) Family Fun (right)

GroundWork Lawrence 2013 Comcast Cares /Earth Day (left) Family Fun (right)

Merrimack Valley Sandbox

NECC is proud to continue its relationship with the Merrimack Valley Sandbox Initiative through participating in Campus Catalyst, cultivating budding new entrepreneurs as they test out their ideas, as well as sending four staff and faculty through the Sandbox Leadership Institute since 2011.

Lawrence Community Works (LCW)

Lawrence Community Works is a community development corporation that weaves together community planning, organizing, and asset-building efforts with high-quality affordable housing and commercial development to create vibrant neighborhoods and empowered residents’. Over the past year, NECC has partnered with LCW on programming for their newly opened Lawrence Financial Stability Center (LFSC). NECC looks forward to bringing educational presentations to the LFSC, and having their staff present their financial literacy, asset building and financial counseling services to our college community.

Other Participation

NECC staff and SOS also engaged in various community building activities that have served to increase awareness of important social issues and their impact on local residents. Through participation in the White Fund Lecture Series and the NECC speaker series offered through the Exchange Club of Lawrence, many community members received first-hand information from local and nationally known leaders who understand these core issues and inspire residents to collectively explore possible solutions for their community. NECC also partnered with Jericho Road on the Cultural Inclusion Project, which focused on diversifying local non-profit boards of directors. Two staff served on their steering committee, and three NECC staff and faculty members are now new board recruits at local non-profits. NECC also continues to offer grant writing workshops through its Grant Resource Center (GRC) with support from the United Way. The GRC offers free community access to two premier databases, and workshops in Grants Research, and Grant Writing. In addition, NECC also provides participation and support for other numerous community wide events such as Semana Hispana, and the Bread and Roses Annual celebration.

2012- 2013 Event Participation

  • (9/1/12) 2012 Bi-Centennial Bread and Roses Day Parade and Fair
  • (9/22/12) The 8th International Book Fair, sponsored by Filología Hispánica, provided a variety of local and international authors the opportunity to connect with Lawrence residents through lectures and book discussions.
  • (9/22/12) Annual Spicket River Clean Up, Groundwork Lawrence
  • (9/26/12) 10th Annual Brides’ March; a YWCA sponsored annual event that honors women in Lawrence.
  • (10/14/12) 2012 Hike for Hope sponsored by Merrimack College to raise money for the poor at the Lazarus House in Lawrence MA
  • (10/18/12) Women’s Safety & Wellness Day, a YWCA/ Lawrence Senior Center sponsored event focused preventing domestic violence and promoting emotional wellness.
  • (10/27/12) NECC Open House
  • (10/31/12) Groundwork Lawrence Community Fall Festival
  • (11/29/12) Groundwork Lawrence Annual Glow Gala Celebration
  • (1/26/13) Annual Oral Health Fair sponsored by the YWCA and the Lawrence Senior Center
  • (1/27/13) FAFSA Day at NECC
  • (2/6/13) and (2/15/13) American Heart Association’s Annual ‘Go Red’ day, a YWCA sponsored event.
  • (3/15/13) International Women’s Day sponsored by the YWCA
  • (3/27/13) Seniors Bake Sale at the Lawrence Senior Center
  • (4/18/13) Oral Health Screening Day at the Lawrence Senior Center
  • (4/22/13) Earth Day Clean Up, sponsored by the Lawrence Senior Center
  • (4/27/13) 2013 Annual Earth Day/Comcast Care Day Clean Up, sponsored by Groundwork Lawrence and Comcast
  • (5/4/13) 2013 Annual Fiesta de Salud, sponsored by the City of Lawrence ‘Diabetes Coalition’
  • (5/4/13) NECC 5K; an NECC- wide event.
  • (6/22/13) 2013 Family Fun and Fitness Day sponsored by the Mayor’s Health Task Force and Groundwork Lawrence