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First Lawrence High School Early College Graduation is Held at NECC

Submitted by on May 30, 2017 – 4:45 pm

Shown left to right in photo: State Representative Juana Matias , Noemi Custodia-Lora, VP of Lawrence Campus and Community Relations, NECC; Marielis Almanzar, Mary Njenga, Emely Gonzalez-Acosta, Madeline Morales, and Loris Toribio, Early College Coordinator, LHS.

Seven Lawrence High School seniors who are graduating from high school with college credits from Northern Essex Community College were recognized at the first Lawrence High School Early College Graduation Program on May 11.

The students are Madeline Morales, Mary Njenga, Jery Gonzalez, Emely Gonzalez-Acosta, Marielis Almanzar, Brittanie Ramirez,and Ivelise Bernabe.

Almanzar, the student speaker, came to Lawrence from the Dominican Republic three and a half years ago, speaking no English.  She spent two years in the International Academy at Lawrence High School and then transferred to the Math, Science, and Technology Academy, and will graduate having successfully complete two college courses, First-year Seminar and Human Nutrition.

“If someone had told me three years ago on my first day of class at Lawrence High School that I was going to be here today giving a speech in English, I would have laughed at them,” she said.  “Looking back I remember the moment I decided I was going to learn English and work hard so I could go to college, and be able to have the future that so many people don’t get the opportunity to have.”

Almanzar will attend Northern Essex Community College in the fall majoring in Liberal Arts: Psychology option with plans to transfer to UMass Boston or UMass Amherst after earning her associate degree.

“Taking college courses in high school, better prepared me to succeed in college,” she says.  “This program has helped me understand responsibilities and how to be a college student.”

Student Speaker Marielis Almanzar and her parents Jose and Edilburga Almanzar and her nephew Dyland Alvarez.

Also speaking during the ceremony were Noemi Custodia-Lora, NECC’s vice president of the Lawrence campus and community relations, and Mike Fiato, headmaster of Lawrence High School.

Lawrence High School students were shuttled to NECC’s Haverhill Campus this spring for four college courses: Human Nutrition, Human Biology, PreCalculus, and Quantitative Reasoning.  In addition to the courses taught on the Lawrence Campus, Northern Essex offered two college courses on site at Lawrence High School: English 101 and Medical Terminology.  In total, 66 Lawrence students were dual enrolled this year, taking Northern Essex courses that offer high school and college credit.

Northern Essex partners with many local high schools, offering programs which are designed to prepare students to succeed in college. In addition to Lawrence High School, Northern Essex has partnered with Amesbury High School, Haverhill High School, Methuen High School, Newburyport High School, Pentucket Regional High School; Triton Regional High School; Whittier Regional Vocational Technical High School; Phoenix Academy, Lawrence; High School Learning Center, Lawrence; Notre Dame Cristo Rey, Lawrence; Sanborn Regional High School, and Timberlane Regional High School.

For more information on high school partnerships available through Northern Essex Community College, contact Adam Cutler, assistant director, secondary-postsecondary linkages, or 978 738-7546.