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Alumna Receives Oprah Winfrey Scholarship

Submitted by on February 4, 2019 – 2:27 pm

NECC alumna Tia Franklin-Garrett recently received an Oprah Winfrey Scholarship to attend UMass Lowell.

A Northern Essex Community College alumna, Tia Franklin-Garrett of Amesbury, was one of the first students awarded a $5,000 Oprah Winfrey Scholarship to attend UMass Lowell.

The television talk show host and author recently spoke at UMass Lowell, which raised $1.5 million for scholarships through ticket sales and sponsor ships. Winfrey matched that figure with another $1.5 million to create additional scholarships.

A 2016 graduate of Amesbury High School, Franklin-Garrett earned an Associate in Science in Criminal Justice and a Certificate of Completion in Law Enforcement from NECC and graduated in December of 2018 with a 3.82 GPA.

The 20-year-old is currently enrolled in UMass Lowell’s criminal justice bachelor degree program. She hopes to graduate in 2020 and work as a court advocate or crisis intervention worker.

While a student at Northern Essex, she was a member of the NECC Student Government Association and made the dean’s list every semester. She participated in

Sexual Assault Awareness Day last April and in 2017 was inducted into Phi Theta Kappa (PTK,) an honors society for community college students. She also participated in the NECC Pathways to Academic and Career Excellence (PACE) Program for first generation college students.

“Financially, this scholarship takes a huge pressure off my shoulders,” she said. “It gives me the opportunity to advance my education and go forward to reach the goals that I’ve set for myself.”

“When I was asked to nominate a student for the Oprah Winfrey scholarship, I immediately thought of Tia,” said Jessica Rocker, transfer advisor, PACE Program, TRiO in NECC’s Student Support Services. “We had been working on making sure she is set at UMass Lowell. She has been working part-time jobs and researching scholarships and loans to help get her through the next two years at UMass Lowell. I knew that, if selected, this scholarship would help ease some of her financial burden. Tia is a motivated and smart young woman who will put this scholarship to good use. I have complete confidence that she will maintain her high academic performance at UMass Lowell.”

For additional information of the scholarships visit.