by Jen Myers
In the fall, 37 recent Lowell High School graduates will be attending Middlesex Community College for FREE.
On Thursday afternoon, a reception was held to celebrate the members of the Early College Promise class of 2023.
“This program removes the financial barriers of going to college, while offering academic and transitional support,” said LHS College and Career Counselor Heather Brunner.
The Early College Promise program provides an opportunity for LHS students who have taken early college classes to continue their studies at MCC – all expenses paid – for one year.
Although the LHS graduates will have meetings and social gatherings as a cohort to help provide an extra layer of support for the transition to college, they will take the regular MCC courses with all the other MCC students.
Lowell Public Schools Chief Academic Officer Robin Desmond shared with the students that when she was a senior at Lowell High, she did not think she would be able to afford college. However, she was able to earn a scholarship that paid for her first year of school.
“Having access to college completely changed my trajectory,” she said, adding that going to college is hard work and urging the students not to be afraid to ask for help if they need it. “If you find yourself falling behind, talk to someone. Get advice. College degrees open doors to the opportunities we all deserve.”
The Early College Promise program began in 2021 with 23 students, who earned 568 college credits in their first year of college; in 2022 that number grew to 28 students who earned 668 credits; this coming year the program expands to 37 students.
Students will be studying a wide range of disciplines including: Psychology, Dental Hygiene, African American Studies, Computer Programing, Graphic Design, Film, Criminal Justice, Neuroscience, Nursing, and more.
The 2023-2024 Early College Promise students are: Julieanna Bleau, Branden Bonner, Vidal Calderon, Chantel Chhoeun, Heitor Cordeiro, Michael Dailey, Daniel De Carvalho, Brandon Diaz, Tracie Du, Nnadubem Ganobi, Zaidi Gonzalez, Rehanamali Guzman, Omera Haque, Natalia Keo, Chanmanith Khun, Logan Kim, Tabitha Kiragu, Yamilee Lara Lara, Tommy Lim, Grace Macharia, Karin Maharjan, Mya Moran, Naliyah Narvaez, Tiana Nhem, Joy Oguachuba, Alex Paltan Aucanzhala, Pich Brapei Penh, Nathan Perez, Nathaniel Perez, Nicole Ramirez, Marjorie Rosario Gonzalez, Leonardo Severino Oliveira, Bienvenido Shephard De Jesus, Christina Sophat, Alana Thach-Siv, John Tobon, and Gina Vorn-Sargentelli.