Menu button
Home » Alumni, Mobile, Students & Alumni

NECC Alumni Board Welcomes Three New Members

Submitted by on July 31, 2023 – 8:19 pm
New alumni board members

Alumni Board members Raquel Quezada, Sarah Pachano, and Virgilio Velez

Last month, the Northern Essex Community College Alumni Board announced the induction of three new members: Sarah Pachano ’23, Raquel Quezada ’23, and Virgilio Velez ’05. All three will begin their terms in September.

Sarah Pachano is a recent NECC graduate and a former student representative to the NECC Board of Trustees. During her time on campus, Pachano was instrumental in leading a range of initiatives that provided significant benefit to her peers, including reinvigorating the inter-campus shuttle program, which will be run in part by Northern Essex students. She is a former Newman Civic Fellow and holds a degree in liberal arts: philosophy.

Quezada, also a recent graduate, is the CEO of “Changing the World for Children with Disabilities,” a community nonprofit aimed at helping individuals and families facing disability. The mother of a child with cerebral palsy, Quezada has played an essential role in advocating for disability rights nationwide. In addition to leading her nonprofit, she hosts a local radio program on issues affecting disabled children, and has authored several books on the topic. She is a former Newman Civic Fellow and LEND Fellow and comes to the Board with experience as a member of the City of Haverhill Disability Commission, and as secretary and Board member of the Massachusetts Development Disability Council. She holds an associate degree in liberal arts: psychology.

Velez, a nurse manager and diversity, equity, and inclusion program officer at Lawrence General Hospital, is a long-time proponent of community service initiatives. In addition to his work at Lawrence General, Velez regularly volunteers at the Greater Lawrence Family Health Center mobile market, where he assists local residents who are facing food insecurity. Velez is a member of the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE), the Mayor Health Taskforce (MHTF) Advisory Council, the Lawrence High School Advisory Council, and the Massachusetts Health & Hospital Association (MHA), where he serves on the healthcare diversity, equity, and inclusion advisory council. He holds an associate degree, bachelor’s degree, and master’s degree in nursing and a certificate in healthcare disparities.

The NECC Alumni Board is a volunteer organization dedicated to engaging alumni and promoting their interests to the college and community. Board members meet at least four times per year to plan and discuss alumni events, fundraising initiatives, mentoring opportunities, scholarship awards, and more. Nominations are open each spring from February to June.

For more information on the NECC Alumni Board, please visit the Alumni Board webpage or contact the Alumni Office at