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Three Recent NECC Grads Selected for Prestigious STEM Fellowship at Station1

Submitted by on August 13, 2019 – 2:30 pm
The three Station1 fellows pose with their faculty.

Shown left to right George Whitfield, faculty; Ellan Spero, faculty; Jessica Figueroa, fellow; Yexis Hechavarria, fellow; Luis Robles, fellow; Christina Ortiz, faculty, and Francisco Martin-Martinez, faculty.

Three 2019 Northern Essex Community College (Haverhill and Lawrence, MA) graduates were selected for a summer fellowship with Station1, a nonprofit higher education institution based in Lawrence, Massachusetts focusing on frontier socially-oriented science and technology. The NECC graduates are participants in the Station1 Frontiers Fellowship, a prestigious science and technology based education, research and internship program.

Recent Northern Essex graduates selected for Station1 fellowships include Jessica Figueroa of Haverhill; Yexis Hechavarria of Lawrence; and Luis Robles, also of Lawrence. “Jessica, Luis, and Yexis are incredibly talented, thoughtful, and creative students who contribute so much positive energy and intellectual insights to the Station1 cohort of Fellows, the curriculum, and internships,” said Station1 Founder, and MIT Professor, Christine Ortiz.

The students were selected from many hundreds of applicants from across the nation and the world after a lengthy admissions process, to participate in a 270-hour internship in a leading science and technology company, and 100 hours of shared coursework focused on socially-directed science and technology, within a diverse mentorship network, focused on academic, career guidance, and social impact.  Station1 Frontiers Fellows receive a comprehensive fellowship package including a living expenses stipend, housing, and transportation.

The three Station1 fellows.

2019 NECC graduates: Jessica Figueroa of Haverhill, Yexis Hechavarria of Lawrence, and Luis Robles, also of Lawrence, were selected for a prestigious science and technology based summer research program.

Jessica Figueroa of Haverhill, mother of two, who earned an Associates Degree in Engineering Science from Northern Essex, is currently majoring in Chemical Engineering at University of Massachusetts, Lowell.  As a Station1 Fellow, Figueroa is participating in an internship with Aphios Corporation, a biotechnology company developing treatments for cancer, infectious diseases such as HIV, and neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis, and opioid use disorder.

Yexis Hechavarria, who earned an Associates Degree in Biology from Northern Essex and was this year’s student commencement speaker, is an intern at Bambu Vault in Lowell, where she is working in research and development for biomedical applications. In the fall, Hechavarria is transferring to Merrimack College to study biochemistry.  Her long term goal is to attend medical school.

Luis Robles graduated with an Associates Degree in Lab Science from Northern Essex, and plans to continue to pursue research in Chemistry after completing his fellowship, and balancing the needs of his family. Robles’ internship is with Continuus Pharmaceuticals in Woburn, where he is contributing to pharmaceutical process research and development.

Northern Essex offers more than 12 STEM programs that lead to jobs and/or transfer to four-year colleges and universities.  There are science, engineering, computer science, and laboratory science programs.  To learn more about the STEM programs, visit the website.