Submitted by Ellen Small Davis on December 2, 2014 – 5:16 pm
Carlos Vasquez says he received academic support from many areas of Northern Essex not the least of which was the tutoring center.
The 30-year-old Lawrence resident has been a steady visitor to the tutoring center since he began taking classes three years ago and credits it with helping him succeed. He is targeted to graduate with a business transfer degree in December.
A native of the Dominican Republic, Carlos immigrated to the United States when he was just 9 years old and unable to speak English. He was a fast learner and attended Lawrence Public Schools where he says he was a good student. After graduating from Greater Lawrence Technical School with a focus on electronics, he entered the workforce working in a number of machine shops as a mechanical assembler.
He enrolled in college, but wasn’t ready to get serious about school.After working for several years, his attitude changed when Carlos realized more education meant more money in his paycheck.
At 27, he took a noncredit bartending course through NECC. While he never used his bartending skills, the course gave him the confidence to enroll in a credit course. Wiser and more mature, one class led to two which led to three.
Carlos credits the tutoring center with contributing to his academic success. “The tutoring center was so important to me especially as a nontraditional learner,” he says. “The tutors were a tremendous help. There is no shame in using the tutoring center. Not everyone can be expected to make it on their own. I received tremendous support.” Carlos became so comfortable at NECC that he joined the Student Senate, the Student Leadership Development Program, and Community Outreach Group.
After earning a bachelor’s degree, he hopes to work for a nonprofit.