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NECC Student Receives State Honor

Submitted by on May 12, 2011 – 3:23 pm

Shannon Sheltra

Shannon Sheltra, a student at Northern Essex Community College’s respiratory care program was named one of “29 Who Shine” from the Public Higher Education Class of 2011.

Sheltra, a single mother of three who resides in West Newbury, turned to NECC for a career when her long-time partner and father of her children, died unexpectedly, forcing their horse farm into foreclosure.

A lifelong asthmatic, she was drawn to the respiratory care program because of her personal experience as well as the job prospects. She graduates from the program this month. She will continue to work at Spaulding North Shore Hospital in Salem where she has been working under her student license for the past year.

In addition, Sheltra has been accepted into Tuft University’s pre-med program for the fall of 2011. She dreams of becoming a pediatric pulmonologist. As the recently named recipient of the national scholarship from the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, valued at $60,000 over two years, this will help make her dream a reality.

Sheltra, who still owns horses and operates a therapeutic horse riding business, is the founding president of the NECC Respiratory Care Club. She was also selected as this year’s student commencement speaker.

The recipients were honored by at a State House ceremony on Wednesday, May 12.
As a group, the “29 Who Shine” range in age from 17 to 52. They hail from each of the state’s 29 public higher education campuses located in 25 cities and towns across Massachusetts. Each student was nominated for the “29 Who Shine” award by faculty and staff at the individual campuses.