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Striking a Balance Key to Success for Single Mom

Submitted by on July 19, 2011 – 2:01 pm

After holding down a string of jobs and enrolling in college several times without earning a degree, Jacqueline Marte decided to get serious about her education and career and came to Northern Essex to do it.

Today, the 44-year-old holds an associate degree in human services from NECC. She transferred her credits to Springfield College’s Manchester, N.H. campus where she is working toward her bachelor’s degree.

Born in New York, but raised in the Dominican Republic through high school, she returned to the U.S. at age 16. She attended two different colleges in New York, where she struggled because of little or no ESL support. In the mid 1980s she married, moved to Lawrence, and started a family. She worked as a hospital clerk long enough to know she enjoyed the human services end of her job.

She enrolled at NECC, but again her education was halted when she moved to Florida for four years. When she returned in 2006, she was determined to complete her degree and enrolled in the human services program. While attending Northern Essex she found a job at the Greater Lawrence Family Health Center. As her education advanced, so did her job responsibilities. Today she is a case manager in the social services department.

“I love my job,” she says. “It’s a great feeling when you are able to help someone.”

A single mother of four and grandmother of one, she works full time while attending college full time. Balancing school and work, she says, is a family project.

“At NECC I learned organizational skills that helped me balance my personal life, school work, and job responsibilities,” she says. “Northern Essex was a great college for me,” says. “Not only was the education great, but it offers so much support in everything from selecting classes to helping with financial aid to looking at colleges to transfer to.”