Two students from Northern Essex Community College in Haverhill and one from Methuen and Lawrence were recently chosen for New England Venture Capital Association Hack.Diversity Scholarships.
The Selective Scholarship Program aims to address the underrepresentation of Black and Latino talent in STEM, short for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics.
Those selected were Ana Veloz Parks of Haverhill and Pedro Gutierrez Rincon, both CIS: computer science majors; Heather Brillant, also CIS: computer science major, from Methuen, and Adonis Almonte from Lawrence, graduating from Northern Essex’s computer science transfer program in summer 2021.
Parks, a 2008 graduate of Lynn Vocational-Technical High School, is on a data analysis trail. She said she knew what it was like to not fit the mold, but found a way to exploit that.
“My greatest motivation is the satisfaction of overcoming an obstacle,” she said. Parks first worked in healthcare and became interested in data science when she started working with health insurance. Now in a start-up, she was instrumental in implementing new software to help the company and its customers.
The language is the source of Pedro Gutierrez Rincon’s interest in software. “I think software is the perfect way for humans to merge language and pure math to express things that would otherwise be impossible or very limited in any other medium,” he writes. He said that where he grew up in Mexico, finishing high school was rare, let alone going to college. He is proud of this opportunity to pursue his dream of getting a degree and starting a career in technology. Gutierrez Rincon graduated in 2013 from Haverhill High School.
Brilliant, a 2018 Lawrence High School graduate, is studying web development. She taught herself English before moving to the United States several years ago. “I’m very proud of it because, being self-taught, it showed me that if I used my time well, I could learn something that would make my life and someone else’s life easier.”
In his biography, Adonis Almonte said, “My interest in technology started during my high school years, when a friend of mine introduced me to coding.” He completed his associate’s degree at Northern Essex and is currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in software development. He is already working on a warehouse management tool.
During the eight-month fellowship, students will have access to mentors, professional development workshops, an extensive alumni network, and full-time paid summer internships at growing tech companies. the fastest in Boston. The goal of the program is to help talented individuals who are part of underrepresented populations pursue careers in STEM fields.