Local Family Man Juggles College and Work
A full-time job and responsibility for supporting a family of three didn’t stop Franklin Burgos from earning a college degree. In May, Franklin, 23, graduated from Northern Essex with a degree in criminal justice. He is now a junior at UMass Lowell, continuing his demanding schedule of full-time work and full-time studies.
Franklin credits his professors at Northern Essex with helping him reach his goals. “Balancing full-time work and full-time studies was difficult, but my professors gave me a hand. I found the communication lines were always open,” he says.
Franklin’s story is an inspiring one, and not only because of his incredible work ethic. A foster child, Burgos admits to having a hard time growing up. He was shuttled between close to a dozen families over the years, never staying long enough to make the lasting connections children crave.
Despite his chaotic childhood, Franklin was always a good student. He decided to drop out of Lawrence High School his senior year, only because he needed to support his girlfriend and now four-year old daughter. “Because of my childhood, my family is very important to me,” he says.
“Balancing full-time work and full-time studies was difficult, but my professors gave me a hand. I found the communication lines were always open.”
In 2008, Burgos decided he wanted to pursue college so he earned his G.E.D. and enrolled in the criminal justice program at Northern Essex. While attending school full time and earning high honors, he worked full time as a peer specialist for Health & Education Services. He also volunteered extensively in his community, teaching computers at the Lawrence Boys and Girls Club, serving on the Department of Children and Families’ Youth Services Board, and teaching computers to the unemployed.
Franklin is now majoring in criminal justice and psychology at UMass Lowell and plans on becoming a criminal investigator for the Department of Children and Families.