NoteWorthy – 11/29/20
AROUND THE VALLEY
Methuen Youth and Community Center Project Gets $200K Boost in State Budget
Included in the Massachusetts senate’s fiscal year 2021 budget is an amendment sponsored by state Sen. Diana DiZoglio (D-Methuen) for $200,000 toward a Methuen Youth and Community Center.
Over the past year, DiZoglio has made the establishment of a formal youth and community center in Methuen one of her top priorities, culminating in a 159-mile March Across Massachusetts this fall to raise awareness and support for the project. DiZoglio has noted that Methuen is among the few communities in the Merrimack Valley that does not have such a center like many surrounding cities and towns.
The local nonprofit Inspirational Ones, in collaboration with Methuen Public Schools and the City of Methuen, is initiating the project, creating and implementing a curriculum model to identify and expand outside-the-box learning experiences and career opportunities, with a focus on engaging underserved youth.
“We still have quite a ways to go — however, these critical funds will bring us one step closer to making the dream of a Methuen Youth and Community Center a reality,” said DiZoglio. “Together, we will provide our youth with mentorship opportunities and social and emotional learning to inspire them to pursue their unique talents and reach their goals.”
To learn more about the Methuen Youth and Community Center project, visit here.
Student Awarded Funding to Start Business at Middlesex CC
Gabrielle Rodriguez went to Middlesex Community College (MCC) to put her dreams into action. In MCC’s Launch Your Business Now certificate program, Rodriguez had the opportunity to pitch for seed funding to the Everyday Entrepreneurs Venture Fund (EEVF) and was awarded $17,000 to launch her business Fleek Beatz Beauty.
“My plan for the present and future is to learn as much as I possibly can, so that I may position myself to one day assist other women of color and provide them opportunity, as the EEVF has graciously done for me,” Rodriguez said.
Rodriguez credits her education at Middlesex for helping her make her business plan a reality. She is most grateful for the mentorship from her professors Stacie Hargis and Franky Descoteaux, as well as for their support. The knowledge they have given her — combined with funding from the EEVF — has shown her what it means to be a successful entrepreneur.
MCC’s business program helps students go into the workforce or transfer to four-year schools with its affordable offerings, small class sizes and flexible schedules. Visit here for more information.
UMass Lowell Students Help Haitian Communities
Inspired by their work in UMass Lowell courses in renewable energy, students are getting involved in hands-on projects that put their knowledge to the test in real-world conditions.
The UMass Lowell Honors College seminar “The Science of Energy” is teaching students the costs and benefits of various energy sources and policies in the context of global warming. Developed by Physics Prof. Robert Giles, the course was first offered last spring and has proved so transformative, several students elected to help conduct energy-related research projects in the lab and to benefit communities in Haiti.
Anne Souza, a physics major from Leominster, was inspired to work with Giles after taking another UMass Lowell course he teaches that explores advancements in science and technology in developing countries. As a result, she is helping with a science course Giles is leading remotely for a college in Les Cayes, Haiti, a city not far from Simone. A senior who plans to teach science or math after graduation, Souza is an instructor for online labs in electronics, which include instruction on how to make basic repairs to solar panels.
Student research to support wind energy is also underway. Honors College student Michele Woodland, a physics major from Shirley, is working in Giles’ lab, using radar to scan commercial windmill blades for invisible flaws in the fiberglass filaments.
The research will become part of her Honors College capstone project and is influencing her decision to pursue a career in radio astronomy, which uses radar to image things in space, according to Woodland.
Christmas Tree Lit at Four Oaks Country Club
Four Oaks Country Club continued its traditional Christmas tree lighting ceremony this year, and MVM photographer Kevin Harkins was on-hand to witness the occasion. To see the tree for yourself, visit their restaurant, Grazie. For hours and menu, click here.
MOVERS AND SHAKERS
NECC’s New Admission Director Hails from Idaho
Northern Essex Community College’s new Director of Recruitment and Admission, Monzerrath (Monze) Stark-Magana, now living in Haverhill, traveled all the way from Idaho for the opportunity to work at Northern Essex.
In her new position, Stark-Magana oversees a staff of three recruiters and is responsible for recruiting students and guiding them through the admission process.
Because of her own experiences, Stark-Magana understands the struggles that students undergo in pursuit of a degree. “Often access to education is genuinely impacted by cultural beliefs, financial stability and literacy, familial support, and citizenship status,” she says. “I’ve gone through this and want to help walk others through the process step-by-step.”
Home Care Alliance of Massachusetts Elects Karen Gomes as Vice President of Board of Directors
Home Health Foundation President and CEO Karen Gomes has been elected as vice president of the Home Care Alliance of Massachusetts board of directors.
“I am so grateful when busy industry leaders step up to serve on our board to support the entire home care community,” said Pat Kelleher, executive director of the Home Care Alliance of Massachusetts. “Karen’s experience and expertise will be most welcome around our board table as we navigate these most challenging times in home care.”
In her leadership role at Home Health Foundation, a Lawrence-based nonprofit organization celebrating its 125th anniversary, Gomes oversees a staff of expert health care professionals who deliver the highest quality care in all the places patients call home. Yet her most impactful accomplishment has been behind the scenes, as the driving force behind Home Health Foundation becoming a member of Wellforce Health System in 2018.