NoteWorthy is your weekly news roundup of happenings, movers and shakers, and community events in the Merrimack Valley.
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AROUND THE VALLEY
NECC Student Honored by Governor at the State House
Northern Essex Community College student Klinbert Garcia, of Methuen, was honored by Governor Charlie Baker at the Massachusetts State House in Boston on Friday, May 5, as an outstanding graduate of the class of 2017.
Each spring, the Department of Higher Education honors one graduate—along with a faculty member of his or her choice—from each of the Commonwealth’s public community colleges, colleges, and universities at a very special “29 Who Shine” event.
Born in the Dominican Republic, and raised first in New York and later Lawrence, where he learned and perfected his English by watching cartoons, Klinbert Garcia is a 2014 graduate of Methuen High School and will receive an associate degree in business transfer with high honors from Northern Essex on May 20.
Garcia is transferring to UMass Boston and majoring in Business Management with a concentration in entrepreneurship, and he recently learned that he is receiving the Foster Furcolo Scholarship, honoring the former governor of Massachusetts.
His plan is to create a company which recycles used clothing from the United States for sale in third world countries, employing distributors in the partner countries to resell the clothes. He will start in the Dominican Republic, his home country, and eventually expand to Puerto Rico and South America and India.
Dracut Resident to Address NECC Class of 2017 as Student Speaker
Daniela Chavez-Hernandez, a Northern Essex Community College Early Childhood Education major with a 3.96 grade point average, has been selected as the student speaker for the college’s 55th Annual Commencement Exercises, which will be held on Saturday, May 20 on the Haverhill campus.
Born in Mexico, Chavez-Herandez came to the United States when she was 16 years old, speaking no English. She attended an Arizona high school for two years where she honed her English writing and reading skills. Chavez-Herandez is the mother of a two-year old daughter and she also works full-time as a preschool teacher at the Greater Lawrence Community Action Council’s Child Care Center, which provides services to low-income families.
After graduation, Chavez-Herandez plans to transfer to Salem State University where she will pursue a bachelor’s and master’s in social work. Her goal is to become a social worker and work with underprivileged children, a direction which has been shaped by her work as a preschool teacher.
“I see a need in the community for social workers and I want to continue working with children and families to improve their quality of life through community services and counseling,” she says.
Fallon Health Awards Grants to 5 Lowell Nonprofit Organizations
Fallon Health recently awarded grants to five Lowell area nonprofit organizations that improve health and well-being in the Merrimack Valley community. The awardees were Boys & Girls Club of Lowell, Central Food Ministry Pantry, Lowell Community Health Center, Merrimack Valley Food Bank and Open Pantry of Greater Lowell.
“We are proud to stand with our partners in Greater Lowell to address some of the community’s most pressing needs, including one of the most basic foundations of health – accessing nutritious foods,” said Kimberly Salmon, Director of Community Relations at Fallon Health.
Jeanne D’Arc Employees Receive Diplomas and Certificates In Financial Training
Jeanne D’Arc Credit Union employees recently attended the Center for Financial Training Graduation and Awards Banquet where they were recognized for their accomplishments in their completed courses and programs. At the ceremony, held at the Radisson Hotel and Suites in Chelmsford, employees received either a diploma or certificate marking their completion of an entire program or awarding them for achieving “First in Class” in their courses.
The recipients were also joined by their managers. In total, 13 employees received diplomas and certificates for classes including Introduction to Lending, Selling Fundamentals, Business Math, Business Communication, Financial Services Management, and more. Some employees also received more than one certificate or diploma for their accomplishments in multiple courses.
Cedardale Health & Fitness’ New Andover Location Now Open
Cedardale Health & Fitness’ Andover location opened on May 1. Located in Haverhill for the past 45 years, Cedardale was forced to close its doors on March 1 due to a massive fire. In an effort to keep its’ close-knit, community-based membership together, Cedardale management are now operating in the former Boston Sports Club on 307 Lowell Street in Andover, owned by local developer Lupoli Companies, while its Haverhill club is rebuilt.
“Cedardale Health & Fitness is a valued, longstanding organization in Haverhill, and we are thrilled to be able to provide its employees with a new workplace following this tragedy,” said Sal Lupoli, president and CEO of Lupoli Companies. “Supporting jobs in our local communities is critical to our mission at Lupoli Companies, and we are excited to welcome them at our facility in Andover.”
Site Work Underway at Tuscan Village in Salem
The first steps were taken this week toward transforming the former Rockingham Park racetrack site into the much-anticipated Tuscan Village residential/retail district with the removal of the historic racetrack’s clubhouse.
Construction workers began dismantling the clubhouse yesterday, marking the start of a transformative project that will include more than two million square feet of residential, retail and office space over 170 sprawling acres, making it one of the largest “live, work, play” communities on the East Coast.
An official groundbreaking ceremony on Tuscan Village is expected in June.
MOVERS & SHAKERS
Sovanna Pouv, executive director of the Cambodian Mutual Assistance Association of Greater Lowell, has been brought on as the newest board member at Jeanne D’Arc Credit Union. Pouv joins the Credit Union’s board of directors with more than 15 years of experience working for organizations geared towards cultural and social improvement within the local community. Prior to his role at the CMAA, Pouv held several positions at the United Teen Equality Center. A long-time Lowell resident, Pouv was born in the Khao-I-Dang refugee camp in Thailand. He moved to Chicago with his family in 1981, where he lived for seven years before moving to Lowell to be closer to family.