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Business Transfer Grad Headed to UMass Isenberg School of Management

Submitted by on May 2, 2022 – 6:52 pm
saviel, wearing a blue suit, stands smiling looking at camera

Saviel Ortiz, ’22 Business Transfer

Talking to Saviel Ortiz of Lawrence, a 2022 Northern Essex Community College Business Transfer grad, it’s hard not to be impressed.

Only 20-years old, he has worked in banking for two years, and is heading toward a career in commercial lending with an interest in helping to develop low-income communities across the Commonwealth.

A 2020 graduate of Greater Lawrence Technical School, Ortiz was a campus leader, serving as president of both the National Honor Society and his class. That year he was one of only five high school students across Massachusetts nominated as a Career and Technical Education Presidential Scholar.

When considering colleges, Joanna de Pena of Top Notch Scholars, a youth leadership organization, suggested he look at Northern Essex.

“She made me see how much I could save,” says Ortiz, who took advantage of Mass Transfer, which helps community college graduates transfer seamlessly to a state university, providing the most affordable route to a bachelor’s degree.

Graduating from Northern Essex with high honors and as one of two Northern Essex students selected for the Phi Theta Kappa All-Massachusetts Team, Ortiz has been accepted to the Isenberg School of Management at UMass Amherst, where he will be continuing his business studies this fall. He plans to eventually work toward a master’s in business.

His interest in banking started when he landed a co-op job as a bank specialist at Reading Cooperative Bank while still in high school.

After high school he began working 30 hours a week as a teller and was soon promoted to bank supervisor, traveling from branch to branch to service business clients.

The role of commercial lenders intrigued him and after shadowing one he says he found “That I really do like it.”

While Ortiz has excelled academically and in his career, it hasn’t always been smooth sailing. Taking classes online due to the pandemic was challenging, and he’s grateful to his academic coach Laurie Sorota, whom he met with monthly to learn time management, test taking, and organization skills. “I owe it all to her. With her advice, I did well.”

Ortiz also credits his mom, Amarilys Pena, whom he calls a “super star.” “She’s the ground and base of the family. She puts a lot of work in us, and keeps us on track.” His brother Alkenly Ortiz, who was also a Presidential Award winner, graduated from UMass Amherst with a degree in architecture and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in the field.

While Ortiz was leaning toward going to a four-year college directly after high school, he’s happy now that he started with Northern Essex. “It was my best choice. Starting here alleviated a lot of the stress. I could focus on class and now I’m ready for the four-year college.”

To learn more about the May 14 Commencement, visit the website.

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 or call 978-556-3700.