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Haverhill Man Earns Scholarship While Pursuing Business Degree

Submitted by on July 30, 2018 – 4:13 pm

Shayne Russell is pursuing his business degree.

When Shayne Russell dropped out of high school several years ago, it was the right decision for him at that time. Just as enrolling in Northern Essex Community College’s business program is the right decision at this time.

His success in the program has earned him a $1,000 Santander Scholarship which is applied to his tuition and fees. He is one of nearly 200 Northern Essex students, more than 40 are Haverhill residents,  to share approximately $170,000 in scholarships .

Raised in Lynn, Russell opted out of attending high school in the ninth grade despite protests from family and friends. He earned his HiSet/GED and went straight to full-time work. Over the next few years, he worked for a fast food chain (McDonald’s) rising to the role of manager. His work experience only confirmed what he knew – that he had a business degree in him. He just didn’t know how to access it.

“If you told me two years ago that I would be a student at Northern Essex, I wouldn’t have believed it,” he said.

However, Russell believed in himself and held on to the realization “that I really wanted something more.”

Last fall, he took the initial step and enrolled in three courses, which led to another three in the spring, two this summer and four classes come September. The 21-year-old also works full time for Dunkin’ Donuts. He relies on public transportation to get to and from school and work.

“I hadn’t sat in a classroom in five or six years. I was just worried about passing,” he said. “Since I didn’t finish high school, I had never really developed good study habits.”

A first generation college student, Russell said it’s important to him that he succeeds. He is on track to graduate next year.

“I really want to do something to make my family proud and someone to look up to,” he said.

What he learned is that hard work pays off.

“NECC has positively impacted my life and has given me the foundation to be a better student, but also brought me closer to achieving my goals,“ he said. “As long as you apply yourself, you can do it.”

In his limited spare time, Russell volunteers for the MACEI Program, which exposes special needs students to college life. He spends time each week at the library with a young man named Peter. They discuss gaming, computers, and weather.

“I was thrilled to receive the scholarship,” he said. “It allows me to keep doing what I’m doing and stay focused.”

One day he hopes to own his own retail chain bearing his surname – Russell.

Northern Essex offers associate degrees in accounting, business management, hospitality management, business management: healthcare practice, and business transfer.

Other Scholarship recipients from Bradford and Haverhill include:


Cherie Caron -Deborah Pifer Memorial Scholarship
Jennifer Casey – NECC Foundation, Inc. Scholarship
Kaitlyn Gould – NECC PACE Program Transfer Scholarship


Jonathan Aguilar – NECC Foundation, Inc. Scholarship
Abraham Anavisca – NECC Foundation, Inc. Transfer Scholarship
Jose Ascencio – Mr. & Mrs. Samuel Squatrito Scholarship
Rose Bellahalea – NECC PACE Program Transfer Scholarship
Connie Bodemer – Women of NECC Scholarship
Connie Bodemer – Bethany Pestana Scholarship
Ferliannie Bonilla – NECC Foundation, Inc. Scholarship
Ferliannie Bonilla – Virginia Noonan – Paula Strangie Memorial Scholarship
Ariana Caraballo – Women of NECC Scholarship
Ariana Caraballo – China Blossom Photography Scholarship
Smeralda Casimir – NECC PACE Program Transfer Scholarship
Kelsey Ceder – NECC Foundation, Inc. Scholarship
Samantha Dacey – Joanne Petrillo Memorial Scholarship
Maria DeAza – Dr. John & Audrey Dimitry Scholarship
Sarah Finlay – Deborah L. Stocker Memorial Scholarship
Sarah Finlay – Dr. Fred & Emily Arrigg Family Scholarship
Diana Gonzalez-Guarin – Agnes & Francis J. Bevilacqua Memorial Scholarship
Diana Gonzalez-Guarin – NECC Administrators’ Association Scholarship
Katherine Hailson – NECC Distinguished Leader Award
Gwendolyn Hampton – Haverhill Bank Scholarship

Priscilla Johnston -NECC Foundation, Inc. Scholarship
Elise Kasparian – Women of NECC Scholarship
Adam Kinser – NECC Foundation, Inc. Scholarship
Lawrence Linnell – Women of NECC Scholarship
Kristina Maldonado – Follett Bookstore Gift Cards
Anyerines Martinez – Joanne Petrillo Memorial Scholarship
Hygdrea Mathurin – NECC PACE Program Transfer Scholarship
Hygina Mathurin – Samuel & Ruth Feldstein Memorial Scholarship
Hygina Mathurin – Dr. and Mrs. Carter B. Tallman Scholarship
Bryan Merino – NECC Foundation, Inc. Scholarship
Olivia Moses – NECC PACE Program Transfer Scholarship
Amanda Murray – Yolanda Celluci Scholarship
Noah Pageau -Women of NECC Scholarship
Thomas Pagnattaro -NECC Foundation, Inc. Incoming Freshman Scholarship
Emily Petrillo – NECC Presidential Scholar Award
Trang Phan – President Emeritus Harold Bentley Memorial Scholarship
Trang Phan – Harold R. Lynch Memorial Scholarship
Sara Ramirez – NECC PACE Program Transfer Scholarship
Paoli Rodriguez – NECC Campus Inclusion Leader Award
Paoli Rodriguez – Pentucket Bank Scholarship
Peter Rodriguez – Follett Bookstore Gift Cards
Shayne Russell – Santander Scholarship
Emi Sisco – Michael G. Stevens Memorial Scholarship
Emi Sisco – LeBlanc Family Scholarship
Sarah Tavitian – Women of NECC Scholarship
Larissa Tinkham – Mrs. Helen D. Flynn Scholarship
Malia Vega – Follett Bookstore Gift Cards
Susan Waterman – Rotary Club of Haverhill Scholarship
Autumn Wilkins – Women of NECC Scholarship
Aria Young – Dr. John G. Santos Environmental Education Scholarship
Leonidas Zekirias – Pentucket Medical Associates, Inc. Health Professions Scholarship