A national women’s advocacy group was so impressed with Lawrence resident Rosemary Hernandez’s journey from high school dropout to MBA candidate, that it selected her from a pool of national candidates as one of 25 women to receive its Women of Triumph Award in Washington, D.C. in February.
Hernandez, a single mother of two, dropped out of high school when she was 17. Dissatisfied with her choices, she enrolled at Northern Essex Community College. After her first year, she was struggling and was directed to the school’s Pathways to Academic and Career Excellence (PACE) Program, which is designed to help low-income and first-generation college students with career counseling, job placement, job readiness, academic advising, tutoring and financial aid. It was there she found a reading tutor and assistance in relating to her professors. As a result of her involvement with PACE, she became a reading tutor herself in the local public school system.
Hernandez graduated from NECC in 1998 with an Associate’s Degree in Liberal Arts. The PACE program assisted Hernandez in transferring to a four-year university and she went on to graduate from the University of Massachusetts Lowell with her bachelor’s degree in psychology. After completing a Women and Government graduate certificate program at the University of Massachusetts Boston, Hernandez enrolled in the Master’s in Business Administration Program at Southern New Hampshire University where she is currently enrolled.
Hernandez works as the operations manager for the Community Day Charter School in Lawrence.
“Looking back ten years, I feel I have come a long way from just wanting to get my GED and get stable,” Hernandez says. “It’s been wonderful and well worth the challenges.”
Karen Mitchell, NECC PACE Director, says, “I’m delighted that Women Work! chose Rosemary for this honor as she is a great role model. She really represents the successes of all our students. It’s why the PACE program is here. It’s gratifying to see her honored and know the PACE program helped make a difference in her life.”
Women Work!, which has roots dating back to 1978, is one of the leading organizations advocating for women to train and qualify for jobs in the information technology field and nontraditional occupations.
For additional information contact Karen Mitchell, Director of the PACE Program, firstname.lastname@example.org