HAVERHILL, MA — More than 1,100 associate degrees and certificates were awarded to students from all over the Merrimack Valley at Northern Essex Community College’s 57th Commencement on Saturday, May 18, 2019.
Among the graduates were Wilmington’s Samantha O’Leary and and Katelyn C. Richardson.
In his commencement address, Bob Rivers, CEO of Eastern Bank, told the Northern Essex graduates and guests: “In short, you must “aim high”, not only in your chosen field, but in your ideals, in your beliefs, and in your expectations of others and our society,” he said. “And if you happen to fall short, know that you – and our community and our country – will be so much further ahead, so much better, than if you had settled for what others might consider more reasonable expectations.”
Rivers is a leader of social justice and sustainability causes, and an advocate for a more inclusive community.
In introducing Rivers, NECC President Lane Glenn said, “Bob has consistently used his platform as a bank president to rally support for corporate inclusivity and fight discrimination based on race, gender, or sexual orientation.
Student Speaker, Yexis Hechavarria, who graduated with high honors and an associate degree in Biology, shared what it was like growing up in Cuba and the culture shock she experienced when she moved to Lawrence five years ago when she was 17.
“When I arrived here, I realized my life had drastically changed,” said Hechavarria. “Now that I was in a new country, I had to start from zero with a language that I couldn’t speak and a new culture.”
(NOTE: The above announcement is from Northern Essex Community College.)
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