NECC Observer

The student news website of Northern Essex Community College, Haverhill and Lawrence, Mass.

COG offers outlet to help community

Club members say NECC’s Community Outreach Group is a place for students of any background to make friends while working towards a common goal: helping their community.

“Everyone is coming from a different situation [and] different perspective, but at the end of the day we find something that everyone can contribute to, and everyone gets to be a part of it in their own way,” said club president and four semester member, Gage Prezioso.

The Community Outreach Group meets every other Wednesday over Zoom at 12:30 p.m. to work on helping their greater community.

Students can sign up to attend by following the link at the bottom of the article, or by emailing Student Life at

Who and where COG donates to is up to the students, said the club’s faculty advisor Meredith Gunning. This past December, COG held a virtual trivia night that raised $700. They donated that money and another $500 out of the club’s budget to Fidelity House, a non-profit organization in the Merrimack Valley, said Gunning.

In the past, the group has organized on Earth Day to clean up around Kenoza Lake in Haverhill, and has even gone to Boston for the March for Hunger, said Gunning.

The next few meetings will be about setting fundraiser goals, and having some teambuilding and for-fun activities, said Prezioso.

All students are welcome, and how much they want to be involved in their fundraising and outreach is up to each member individually, said Prezioso. Participation is encouraged, but “we’re not a high strung, super intense group,” he said.

Prezioso said that being a part of the club has made him feel like a part of a community on campus. “For me it was important to make meaningful connections in college,” said Prezioso. “OK, you sit in class for an hour – cool – but you don’t really get super deep conversations … But when you go sit at the bake sale for an hour with someone, you talk about something and you just kinda grow closer to the whole group,” said Prezioso.

For Caroline Martinez, a General Studies in Health student, this was her first time meeting with the group. “Listening into the conversation, everyone here is very welcoming … even though I’ve sat here for 20 minutes, I feel welcome,” she said.

To further establish this club is a place for all students, the group tries to remain mostly a-political. “We try to avoid politics, usually. It’s just about helping without judgment,” said Gunning.

Link to sign up: