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Covanta Announces $100k Grant for NECC Haverhill Promise Program

Submitted by on May 4, 2023 – 2:38 pm

Haverhill, MA (May 3, 2023) ­– A pledge from Covanta, our local sustainability company, will help more Haverhill High School graduates earn their associate degrees tuition-free at Northern Essex Community College. Covanta Senior Manager of Corporate Relations Alyssa Wilds announced the pledge of $100,000 at the recent NECC Impact Awards. The donation unlocks an earmarked $100,000 in state funding to support a matching grant for the NECC Haverhill Promise Program, secured by State Representative Andres Vargas (D, Essex 3rd District).

four people pose in front of a staircase and brick wall

NECC VP of Institutional Advancement Allison Dolan-Wilson, Covanta Business Manager Mark Van Weelden, Covanta Senior Manager of Corporate Relations Alyssa Wilds, Rep. Andy Vargas (D, Essex 3rd District)

“It has always been a focus for us to continually deepen our support in resources such as NECC over the years.  NECC is not only a valuable local resource, but their lasting impacts are felt throughout the Merrimack Valley, our Commonwealth, and far beyond,” remarked Covanta Business Manager and NECC Foundation Board member Mark Van Weelden.

“The NECC Promise Program has already helped so many students to obtain an associate degree without cost,” said Allison Dolan-Wilson, Northern Essex VP of Institutional Advancement. “We are truly grateful to both Representative Vargas and Covanta for understanding the importance of this program and for supporting the many deserving students who are looking to achieve their educational goals.”

NECC’s Early College Program allows Haverhill High School students to enroll in NECC classes as early as their sophomore year of high school and earn college credits tuition-free. The Northern Essex Haverhill Promise Program gives those students who have completed at least 15 credits the opportunity to continue at NECC following graduation and earn their associate degrees for little to no cost. Students are provided coverage of tuition, fees, and a laptop. The program has been designed to operate as a GAP scholarship, covering all NECC costs not already covered by state or federal grants.

The NECC Haverhill Promise Program can potentially serve 1,000 students over the next ten years, saving them an estimated $20 million. Northern Essex offers the same scholarship opportunities to students from Lawrence through the Lawrence Promise Program. Both are made possible through public-private partnerships. Learn more about Early College and Northern Essex by visiting the webpage or contacting  NECC Associate Dean of PK12 Partnerships Aaron Altman.

Covanta has been a longtime supporter of NECC and its students, contributing to numerous causes, initiatives, and projects. In 2011, the local sustainability company established an endowed scholarship for students pursuing an associate degree in natural, laboratory, or engineering science. The company was recognized with the Community Partner NECC Impact Award at the May 3 ceremony.

About Northern Essex

Northern Essex Community College, the first Federally designated Hispanic Serving Institution in New England, is an education leader for the Merrimack Valley. Through a supportive learning environment and cultural inclusion, NECC embraces all identities and inspires initiative and excellence through top-notch affordable certificate and associate degree programs online and at campuses in Haverhill and Lawrence. NECC offers many bachelor’s degree transfer options, workforce development, and community education classes, and is host to the NECC Police Academy, MassHire Merrimack Valley, and Gallaudet University’s Regional Center for the deaf and hard of hearing. Visit Northern Essex online at