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Mexican American Writer Visits NECC Classroom

Submitted by on August 27, 2014 – 2:55 pm
Back row; left to right are:  Alexander Cruz, Rafael Eduardo, Jan Pichardo, author Sergio Troncoso, Alba Diaz, Crissel Pineda, Jasmin Taveras. First row; left to right are: Esmilna Mauricio, Alexandra Vilorio, Barbara Rangel, Nodine Webster, Emily Pitta, and Amber Hernandez.

Back row; left to right are: Alexander Cruz, Rafael Eduardo, Jan Pichardo, author Sergio Troncoso, Alba Diaz, Crissel Pineda, Jasmin Taveras.
First row; left to right are: Esmilna Mauricio, Alexandra Vilorio, Barbara Rangel, Nodine Webster, Emily Pitta, and Amber Hernandez.

Students in Northern Essex Community College’s Summer Bridge Program had a special treat on Tuesday, August 19 when Mexican American writer Sergio Troncoso visited their classroom at the Dimitry Building in Lawrence. The students are using Troncoso’s book “Crossing Borders” for their English Skills classes.

The author of essays, short stories, and five novels, Troncoso was raised by his Mexican parents in a “border shantytown.”  He went on to attend Harvard and he now teaches at Yale in addition to his writing.

During his visit Sergio talked about his journey as an author and why he likes to explore themes like family, heritage and culture in his writing.  The group worked on a writing exercise where Sergio helped them to further explore and expand on the themes, ideas and narratives they had developed in class. He also shared advice on writing and editing techniques he uses and how students can incorporate them into their classes.   

The NECC Summer Bridge program is a free enrichment program designed to help ease student’s adjustment to college life and build a foundation for academic success.  Participants work on improving math and English language skills and are introduced to the resources available at Northern Essex.

Students participating in the 2014 Summer Bridge Program included Alexander Cruz, Alba Diaz, Eduardo Rafael, Paola Guerrero, Amber Hernandez, Alexandra Lugo, Esmilna Mauricio, Jan Pichardo, Crissel Pineda, Emily Pitta, Barbara Rangel, Jasmin Taveras, Alexandra Vilorio and Nadine Webster. All are from Lawrence.

To be eligible for the program, students must be a Latino high school graduate with a 2.5 GPA or better and enrolled at NECC for the fall.  THE NECC Bridges Program is funded in part by a grant that NECC received form the United States Department of Education under the Title V Developing Hispanic-Serving Institutions Program and a Massachusetts Performance Incentive Grant.  The college has applied for support from the Lawrence Cultural Council, a local agency which is supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency for Sergio Troncoso’s visit.

For more information on the NECC Summer Bridge Program, contact Gisela Nash, gnash@necc.mass.edu or 978 738-7413.

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