NECC Observer

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

U-Knighted: Involvement Resource Fair highlights community programs

Two women sitting at a tablePhoto by Campus Life Editor Karen P. Stokes

Left to right Carlie Hornbrook of Emmaus and Hayley Jenkerson, Volunteer and In-Kind Donations Manager at Emmaus

NECC (Northern Essex Community College) goes above and beyond with educating and providing support to the needs of students with the U-Knighted Involvement Resource Fair. 

On Oct. 11 students were able to meet with the many different programs that represented the Haverhill community and to not only assist with support surrounding education but provide well-being resources such as food and shelter, along with public safety.

The U-Knighted Involvement Resource Fair hosted several different depts and organizations that were either on campus or within the Haverhill community. 

This brought awareness to students and staff of the many different programs that NECC has access to and that are available to assist the students in many different areas. 

The fair was located at the Spurk building on the first and second floor hallways of the C building. 

 Here are some of the depts and organizations I chatted with about the services and support they offered. 

I began with the NECC Alumni Office.

NECC Alumni Office

 NECC Alumni Office was introducing NECC Connect. Representing the Alumni Office were Shana Murrell, the director of Alumni Relations and Annual Giving and Sarah Comiskey, Assistant Director of Annual Giving & Stewardship. In speaking with Comiskey, she informed me that NECC Connect was a new way that has been provided for students to ask questions. The students would be matched with alumni that are best suited to respond to them based on the type of questions they ask. It is an A.I. platform, said Comiskey. It is a good tool for expanding reach as a means of helping to communicate faster. In order to access the service, you would need to copy the QR code.

A man standing and a man sitting at a tablePhoto by Campus Life Editor Karen P. Stokes

Left to Right Chief of Police/Director of Public Safety David Hobbs & Lieutenant Keith Walker.


YWCA of Northeastern MA Haverhill branch was here at NECC representing the branch in Haverhill. Renee McGuire was there in support of providing services in the areas of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault. The services are free and confidential for women, men, and adolescents. They provide crisis intervention, individual/group counseling, police & court advocacy, healthy relationship education for youth, professional workshops and trainings, 24-hour sexual assault advocacy, prevention programs and referrals. YWCA Haverhill branch is on Winter Street.


 Matthew Desmond explained that the program worked with children in the Lawerence and Lowell areas to build literacy skills. The program focuses on literacy and social emotional skills for preschoolers and helps prepare children from underserved communities for kindergarten and beyond. Desmond stated that they were looking to hire people who love working with kids and are interested in making a difference in the community. The program offers a work study for students and if students complete 300 hours of service, they will get an education award to be used towards education. If interested apply at


Emmaus is a program for students and families in need. I spoke with Hayley Jenkerson, Volunteer and In-Kind Donations Manger. 

She stated that the Emmaus house provides affordable housing for families. They offer emergency shelter programs for families and individuals. They offer permanent affordable housing. Emmaus has a food and distribution program. They are looking for volunteers to cook and to help in the food pantry. Emmaus is on Winter Street in Haverhill.

A man sitting at a tablePhoto by Campus Life Editor Karen P. Stokes

Matthew Desmond of Jumpstart.

SOAR (Seize Opportunities, Aspire to Rise)

SOAR representatives were there to offer their support and bring awareness to the many services they offer to students. To name a few, academic support which includes coaching, individualized homework help and that also involves after hours, and assistance connecting with campus resources. SOAR is there for personal support in informative financial, personal health, and wellness activities. 

Public Safety

Representing NECC public safety was Chief of Police/Director of Public Safety David Hobbs along with Lieutenant Keith Walker. Spoke with David Hobbs NECC Chief of police. Chief Hobbs brought me up to speed regarding public safety here at NECC. Chief Dobbs stated “that they are a law enforcement dept and that public safety is provided 24/7 to both the Haverhill and Lawrence campuses. We work together with the security guards and the security guards are there overnight to check the buildings and do lock ups says, Dobbs. Included in our discussion was the importance of having a visible presence of Law enforcement on campus as well as the annual public safety report that came out September 27th. There is a more recent message was sent on October 26th.

Two women standing behind a table with informational books and posters on it. Photo by Campus Life Editor Karen P. Stokes

From left to right Renee McGuire and Misty DelMonte
Representing YWCA.

Lieutenant Walker in closing added that they are working to expand the police presence on both campuses so that they have more police officer coverage in the evening hours. 

The conversation was pleasant and professional with the Chief and Lieutenant; they were thorough and clear in explaining the aily operations and needs of Public Safety for NECC. Chief Hobbs was open and encouraged that I reach out if there were suggestions that I had or anything that I thought was good for law enforcement to be involved in. NECC Police office is located at Building C.