Communications Student Finds a Fresh Start at NECC
Back in the spring of 2017, Alexis “Lexi” Fontaine found herself at a crossroads. Nearly two years into her education at a college in Connecticut, the Methuen resident had dreams of pursuing a communications career, but lacked the support and financial assistance she needed to get there.
“I wasn’t getting where I should have with my schoolwork and goals,” she says of her experience. “I felt like another number in an overcrowded student body.”
Amid mounting debt and a disappointing academic career, she decided to make a jump she was uncertain of at the time. She returned to Methuen to pursue work, refine her goals and, later, to enroll at Northern Essex Community College as a journalism/communications major.
“At the time, NECC just seemed like a convenient option,” she says. “I knew it would allow me to save up some money before transferring again.”
But what started out as a mere convenience, she notes, quickly became a life-changer. By the fall of 2018 she found herself unexpectedly immersed in a vibrant and tight-knit community, and fueled by a renewed sense of determination to work toward her goals.
“I think it’s so easy to underestimate the type of community NECC can foster as a commuter school,” she says. “But I made so many more friends here, connected with professors more, and participated in so many more opportunities than I ever would have at my four-year college.”
Fontaine is now involved in a number of campus leadership roles, serving as the opinion editor for the NECC Observer, as manager of the @knightlife_necc student Instagram account, and as a public relations assistant in the NECC marketing communications office, all while holding down two part-time jobs and maintaining a 3.73 GPA. She also recently assisted in running the 2019 Speechapalooza, a free showcase of student presentations managed by the journalism/communication department.
She notes that none of these roles would have been possible were it not for the constant guidance she received from mentors and educators along the way.
“The support I’ve received from NECC professors and staff has helped me absolutely thrive,” she says. “I wasn’t ready for the atmosphere of a four year institution when I first started my college career, but now I feel fully prepared to go back and take on the challenge.”
Fontaine will continue her education at Merrimack College this fall, where she will pursue a bachelor’s degree in communications.
NECC offers associate degrees in liberal arts: journalism/communications and in liberal arts: writing. For more information, please visit www.necc.mass.edu.
To learn more about NECC’s Commencement, visit the website.