Emeli Diaz, a 2019 Lawrence High School (LHS) grad, took college biology as a junior in high school, and discovered she was fascinated with the human brain. That self-knowledge led her to Anatomy & Physiology, which only further fueled her interest.
This May, 18-year old Diaz graduated with high honors and an associate degree in Liberal Arts from Northern Essex Community College. Her goal is to be a psychiatrist, and she has been accepted as a transfer student at both Boston University and UMass Amherst.
Thanks to the Early College Program, which gives high school students the opportunity to earn college credits while in high school, Diaz earned her associate degree just one year after graduating from LHS. She accumulated 30 Northern Essex credits while in high school, which allowed her to graduate with her associate degree a year early.
Best of all, Diaz’s associate degree, including tuition and fees, books and supplies, and a laptop, was completely free. She is the first student to graduate from the Lawrence Promise Scholarship Program, which provides free associate degree completion for LHS Early College students who transfer their credits to Northern Essex and enroll directly after graduating from the Early College Program.
The Lawrence Promise Scholarship Program is made possible by private and foundation support.
“I wouldn’t have been able to attend college if it weren’t for Lawrence Promise,” said Diaz.
Diaz came to this country with her mother and brother five years ago, speaking no English. She enrolled as a 9th grader in Lawrence High School’s Enlace (Engaging Newcomers in Language and Content Education) program, and, with her strong motivation to learn, progressed quickly.
It’s clear Diaz is serious about her education and when asked what motivates her she answers that it’s “her family”. “My mom came here to give my brother and me a better future. She had to give up a lot of things, and I appreciate what she did for us.”
Northern Essex recently recognized the 47 2020 LHS graduates who participated in the Early College Program, graduating with up to 42 college credits. Sixteen of them will continue their education at Northern Essex as part of the Lawrence Promise Scholarship Program.
To learn more about the Early College Program, visit the website.
For more information about the Lawrence Promise Program Scholarship, contact Northern Essex PK-12 Partnerships, email@example.com
Northern Essex Community College has campuses in both Haverhill and Lawrence. It offers more than 60 associate degree and certificate programs as well as hundreds of noncredit courses designed for personal enrichment and career growth. Each year, more than 5,000 students are enrolled in credit associate degree and certificate programs on the Haverhill and Lawrence campuses; and another 2,600 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 www.necc.mass.edu or call 978-556-3700.