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Communication Student Interns for Local Representative

Submitted by on February 27, 2018 – 3:53 pm

Scarlet Melo, an NECC journalism/communication major, is interning for Rep. James Kelcourse this spring.

When Scarlet Melo and her family emigrated from the Dominican Republic when she was just five years old and spoke only Spanish, it is unlikely they thought she would one day be listening to constituents’ concerns in a Massachusetts state representative’s office.

Yet, that is exactly what this Northern Essex Community College journalism/communication major is doing 14 hours a week. As part of NECC’s growing internship program, she is working in Representative James Kelcourse (R) 1st Essex – the district is Amesbury, Salisbury, and Newburyport.

The 23-year-old Lawrence resident is a 2013 graduate of North Andover High School. She continued her education at the Cordon Bleu in Boston and for a time worked at the Terra Luna Café on 225 Essex Street in Lawrence, but always she felt the pull to return to school.

A fan of writing and reading, Melo enrolled in the liberal arts: journalism/communication degree program in the fall of 2016. She carries a 3.0 GPA. This semester she enrolled in NECC’s internship program. Melo was matched with Rep. Kelcourse where she assists the legislative aides at the Green Street office in Newburyport with letters, emails, voicemails, and meetings.

“I really enjoy working with the constituents and listening to them,” she said. “I’m learning a lot. I’m learning about the communities, legislative bills, and policies.”

Melo is using her newly acquired internship skills in her role as the student representative to the NECC Executive Committee for Planning and Policy, which is a committee of the All College Assembly. It meets at least twice each semester with NECC President Lane Glenn. This is a position she takes seriously and she is often informally chatting up other students about topics of interest such as course selection and availability and choosing a major.

She is on track to graduate in May. She will transfer to Salem State University under the state’s Commonwealth Commitment Program, which places a freeze on tuition & mandatory fees upon entry in the program and provides a 10% end-of-semester rebate.

Her dream job, she said, is to work in public relations.

For now, when she’s not in on campus or at her internship, Melo works part time as a bartender at Viva Bar in Lawrence.

Northern Essex has a robust internship program available to journalism/communication, business, art, and computer information science students who want to gain real-word experience and insight into a career. For details on the NECC internship program, contact Ashley Moore, Director of Academic, Career and Civic Engagement at 978-56-3964 or

Northern Essex offers an associate degree in liberal arts: journalism/communication. Graduates will be prepared to transfer into a bachelor degree program or seek a career in print or broadcast journalism, public relations, advertising, or corporate communications. The degree lays a foundation to pursue a career as a reporter, news analyst, program director, producer, or public relations specialist.