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Lawrence Veteran Finds Full College Experience at NECC

Submitted by on November 24, 2014 – 8:32 pm
Justin Merced is a liberal arts major with concentrations in biology and creative writing

Justin Merced is a liberal arts major with concentrations in biology and creative writing

When Justin Merced of Lawrence enrolled at Northern Essex, he was interested in the academics, of course, but he also was looking for a full college experience. He wanted extra-curricular activities that would help him develop his leadership skills, meet other
students, and motivate him to stay physically active.

“I searched the Northern Essex website and found out what I could join,” he says. “One of the things that I appreciate most about Northern Essex is the amount of
activities offered to students.

”Since arriving at Northern Essex a year and a half ago, Justin served as vice president of the student senate; was the student representative on the All College
Assembly, an advisory board to the president; and ran weekly with the President’s Running Club.

An Army veteran who has served in Afghanistan and Iraq, Justin is also a leader in the college’s Veterans’ Club. Last fall, thanks in large part to his hard work, the college had a very successful Veterans’ Appreciation Day Luncheon.

Academically, Justin has excelled at Northern Essex, too, earning a near-perfect 3.95 GPA in his major, which is liberal arts with concentrations in biology and creative writing. He’s a member of Phi Theta Kappa, the community college honor society, and participates in the Honors Experience, a rigorous program for motivated students that’s affiliated with the UMass Commonwealth Honors Program.

Earning excellent grades is important if Justin is going to achieve his goals. After serving as a medic in the military, he decided medicine was the perfect fit for him career-wise. He plans to earn a four-year degree and eventually enroll in medical school.