Three NECC Students Selected for STEM Fellowship
Three Northern Essex Community College students have been chosen for a selective fellowship focused on addressing the underrepresentation of Black and Latinx talent in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math).
The three include: Patricia Antlitz of Hampton, NH, a computer science major; Alejandro Brito of Haverhill, who graduated from Northern Essex’s Computer Information Science Transfer Program in December of 2020; and Sebastian Rosario, also of Haverhill, who is enrolled in the Computer Information Science: Networking & Security Program. All three were chosen for the New England Venture Capital Association’s Hack.Diversity Fellowship after a rigorous selection process.
Through its fellowship program, Hack.Diversity helps talented individuals, primarily those who identify as Black or Latinx, to launch careers as software engineers, IT professionals, and data analysts within the innovation economy. Since its inception in 2017, 160 fellows have been selected and placed in more than 30 companies.
As part of the eight-month fellowship program, the three will have access to mentors, professional development workshops, an expansive alumni network, and full-time, paid, summer internships with Boston’s fastest growing technology companies.
“At Hack, we look for individuals that are passionate about breaking into the innovation industry and eager to grow; and Patricia, Alejandro and Sebastian are no exception. We couldn’t be more thrilled to welcome these three outstanding members into the Hack.Diversity family,” said Robert Vance, program manager, Hack.Diversity.
Antlitz came to the United States from Brazil when she was 15 years old. She had to drop out of high school to help support her family but earned her GED in 2017. After working in the dental industry for 10 years, she decided to explore her interest in technology, enrolling at Northern Essex, where she is earning high honors.
Antlitz says she’s been looking for a job in the technology field without luck, likely because she doesn’t yet have her degree. The high honors student is hopeful that Hack.Diversity will help her reach that goal with a summer internship. “What I am hoping I will gain from Hack.Diversity is an opportunity to prove myself, learn, and be mentored.”
Born in the Dominican Republic, Alejandro Brito came to the United States with his mother when he was 7 years old. He has always loved computers and says “Many students going to college out of high school are uncertain about what kind of career they see a future in, but I was not one of them…I have always had a deep passion for anything tech-related.”
Brito applied for the fellowship after hearing about it from one of his NECC professors. Interested in a career in computer software, he’s looking forward to getting career advice and honing his technical skills as a fellow.
Calling himself “unabashedly Dominican”, Sebastian Rosario has always been interested in puzzles. “Tinkering with things and figuring out the mechanisms that make it function always captured me for hours at a time,” He says. “If I could figure out the rules of a system, the entertainment for me was figuring out ways to game those rules or circumvent them.”
Rosario plans to pursue a career in cyber-security.
Northern Essex offers programs in computer science, information technology, networking and security, technology and business, and computer networking. For more information, visit the website, www.necc.mass.edu.
Northern Essex Community College has campuses in both Haverhill and Lawrence. It offers approximately 60 associate degree and certificate programs as well as hundreds of noncredit courses designed for personal enrichment and career growth. Each year, 6,000 students are enrolled in credit associate degree and certificate programs on the Haverhill and Lawrence campuses; and another 2,000 take noncredit workforce development and community education classes on campus, and at businesses and community sites across the Merrimack Valley. For more information, visit the website at www.necc.mass.edu or call 978-556-3700.