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NECC Helps Mom Find Right Balance

Submitted by on October 27, 2014 – 3:19 pm

Marie Phillips, a single mom who decided to return to school, credits Northern Essex
with helping her balance school and life.

Though she graduated from Haverhill High School in 1998 and enrolled at NECC, life
events, including the birth of her daughter and marriage, interrupted her education.

Over a decade later, Marie found herself a single mother raising her special needs
daughter alone, delivering newspapers, and needing a change. “I began wondering
where my life went so wrong, and how I ended up with a job that was worth so little.
I decided, in that moment, that I would find a way to go back to school at NECC,”
Marie said.

Once enrolled at NECC, Marie was determined to achieve her dream of being a kindergarten teacher. During her time at NECC, Marie was involved in numerous activities including the
student support program Pathways to Academic & Career Excellence (PACE).
She was also a Presidential Student Ambassador, President of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, an international honor society, and a team leader in the JumpStart Program, a national early education organization that helps children develop language and literacy skills.

Early Childhood Education Graduate Marie Phillips

Early Childhood Education Graduate Marie Phillips

Without programs such as PACE at NECC, Marie knows she would not have been
able to balance school and life so successfully. “The PACE program has taught me many
important skills and strategies for balancing all of my responsibilities. Being as involved
as I am at NECC definitely takes a lot of careful planning and time management,”
Marie says.

Marie also credits everyone she has met at NECC for her success. “The NECC community
saw so much more in me than I was able to see and brought it out,” Marie says. She now
thinks of the NECC community as her own family, “NECC is a place where everyone
truly cares about one another.”

Marie received her Associate Degree in Early Childhood Education in May, and
will transfer to Salem State University to pursue her Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood
Education in the fall.