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NECC Student is Honored by Governor at the State House

Submitted by on May 3, 2017 – 7:02 pm

Governor Charlie Baker and NECC Student Klinbert Garcia, recipient of the 29 Who Shine Award.

Northern Essex Community College Student Klinbert Garcia of Methuen was honored by Governor Charlie Baker at the Massachusetts State House in Boston on Friday, May 5 as an outstanding graduate of the class of 2017.

Each spring, the Department of Higher Education honors one graduate—along with a faculty member of his or her choice—from each of the Commonwealth’s public community colleges, colleges, and universities at a very special “29 Who Shine” event.

Garcia selected his communications professor Amy Callahan as his mentor, writing “It all started with the experience of taking Professor Callahan’s Intro to Communication class, where my inner critical thinking was drawn out through the passion and experience Professor Callahan brought to class every day.”

Born in the Dominican Republic, and raised first in New York and later Lawrence, where he learned and perfected his English by watching cartoons, Klinbert Garcia is a 2014 graduate of Methuen High School and will receive an Associate Degree in Business Transfer with High Honors from Northern Essex on May 20.

After arriving on campus, Garcia was quick to get involved, running for election to the Student Senate; serving as the student representative on the All College Advisory Council Executive Committee; and participating in the Student Leadership Development Program.

Last spring, Garcia launched a successful campaign for student-elected trustee, a position which he has held this academic year.

NECC Graduate Klinbert Garcia with his faculty mentor, NECC Communications Professor Amy Callahan.

Garcia is well-connected to his fellow students and, in his leadership roles, he has effectively advocated for issues that are important to them, such as college affordability and student success.

While at Northern Essex, Garcia has participated in two internships, one with Lawrence Family Resource Center, where he helped at-risk high school students, who were dealing with issues such as mental illness, teen parenthood, and homelessness, to find ways to complete a high school degree despite their challenges, and a second marketing internship with the college’s Study Abroad Program.

Garcia is also a gifted teacher who serves as a math tutor and a supplemental instructor in Statistics, teaching study classes for students in the class.

Garcia is transferring to UMass Boston and majoring in Business Management with a concentration in entrepreneurship, and he recently learned that he is receiving the Foster Furcolo Scholarship, honoring the former governor of Massachusetts.

His plan is to create a company which recycles used clothing from the United States for sale in third world countries, employing distributors in the partner countries to resell the clothes.  He will start in the Dominican Republic, his home country, and eventually expand to Puerto Rico and South America and India.

“Klinbert Garcia has made good on Massachusetts taxpayers’ investment in his education,” said Carlos E. Santiago, commissioner of higher education. “Every year the 29 Who Shine remind us that our public college and university graduates represent the future of the Commonwealth. They are here to learn, here to stay, and it is incredibly inspiring to see how each honoree is contributing to our common good.

In May 2011, the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education launched “29 Who Shine,” a program to recognize outstanding students representing each of the 29 public campuses. The honorees, chosen because of their academic achievements and record of student leadership and community service, stand poised to contribute greatly to the civic life and economic well-being of the state. Whether furthering their education or entering careers here in Massachusetts in fields as diverse as education, public policy, medicine, creative arts, and engineering, they truly embody the vibrant future that we all envision for the Commonwealth

Northern Essex faculty and staff nominate students for this honor and Northern Essex President Lane Glenn chooses a candidate.  Garcia was nominated by Karen Mitchell, director of the Pathways to Academic and Career Excellence (PACE) Program at Northern Essex.

With campuses in Haverhill and Lawrence, Northern Essex Community College offers over 70 associate degree and certificate programs as well as hundreds of noncredit courses designed for personal enrichment and career growth.  Each year, 8,500 students are enrolled in credit associate degree and certificate programs on the Haverhill and Lawrence campuses; and another 2,600 take noncredit workforce development and community education classes on campus, and at businesses and community sites across the Merrimack Valley.  Northern Essex is the only state college located in the lower Merrimack Valley Region of Massachusetts. For more information, visit the website at