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MassBay Student Selected for 29 Who Shine Award

Friday, May 6, 2016

WELLESLEY HILLS (May 6, 2016) — MassBay Community College is pleased to announce that General Studies student, Abraham Guerrero, has been selected as MassBay’s representative for the Department of Higher Educations “29 Who Shine” award.

In May 2011, the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education launched “29 Who Shine,” a commencement season awards program to recognize 29 outstanding student graduates from the Commonwealth’s public higher education system. Each honoree from a community college, state university or University of Massachusetts campus is nominated by a faculty or staff member, or by a university awards committee.

“I congratulate Abraham and all 29 of the 2016 award recipients and thank them for their substantial contributions to their campuses and local communities,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “Each of the 29 Who Shine honorees represent our future citizenry and workforce and have already made a positive impact on the Commonwealth.”

“Abraham is a shining example of a student who has made good on the taxpayer’s investment in his education,” said Commissioner of the Department of Higher Education Carlos E. Santiago. “The outstanding students on this year’s list of 29 Who Shine honorees have come from many countries, overcome many obstacles. I am so proud of what they have achieved and look forward to seeing how they continue to put their talents to work on behalf of us all.”

Abraham currently works for a local middle school’s afterschool program for the Natick Public Schools. He serves as both a deacon and assistant director for teens and young adults for his local church, and also assists in the programming for his congregation’s bible school. Abraham is originally from Latin America and moved to the U.S. when he was 7 years old. He and his wife are foster parents to a baby boy, who they are looking to adopt, and they also care for a disabled grandmother. Abraham will be continuing his education studying Economics at Boston University after commencement later this month. He is a member of the Phi Theta Kappa National Honor Society and he often reaches out to peers with practical advice and everyday support. Abraham and his wife are residents of Southborough.

“Abraham is a classic example of brilliant students who come from other parts of the world and excel academically at MassBay while demonstrating great citizenship and compassion in their daily lives,” said MassBay Interim President Yves Salomon-Fernandez. “We are proud and delighted that Abraham was chosen from a highly competitive pool of deserving students.”

“Abraham represents a dynamic combination of global consciousness interwoven with a powerful commitment to improving the lives of young people in Massachusetts,” MassBay Honors English Professor Jeanie Tietjen. “Since “29 Who Shine” clearly believes that education represents a critical investment in our community’s collective future, I can think of no better candidate. MassBay has been enriched by his presence in our community as a student – soon to be alumnus – and I’ve been personally lucky to work with him in the Honors English classroom.”

Abraham and the other 28 students will be recognized by Governor Charlie Baker at an Awards Ceremony and Reception at the Massachusetts State House on Monday, May 9, 2016.

“The experience of being chosen for this award is more than I could have ever hoped for, to conclude my time at MassBay,” said Abraham. “The award sums up the values that this great state upholds. Those of supporting all of its people in all their different circumstances and that of upholding education as a major necessity in all of our futures. Those same values MassBay executes and has for the past two years persistently shown me. Now that I will leave its gates, I can continue my journey never taking for granted the opportunities I was given to better myself by my teachers, my school and by my state.”
Students selected for the “29 Who Shine” award must meet the following criteria:

  • Student graduate shows exceptional promise as a future leader in civic affairs or in business or professional activing in Massachusetts, having already demonstrated an ability to contribute to the civic and economic wellbeing of the Commonwealth.
  • Pursue a career track or interest for which there is a demonstrated need in the Commonwealth, such as a high-demand STEM-related career (health care, life sciences, information technology), or a start-up business that will produce jobs, or a community service role to better the lives of fellow Massachusetts citizens (such as teaching, working in a social service agency, or community organization, etc.).
  • Massachusetts resident who plans to continue living and working in the state upon graduation. A student who plans to live in Massachusetts after furthering his or her education, either in or out of state, would also qualify.
  • Complete his/her degree or certificate requirements at the Massachusetts community college, state university or UMass campus within the academic year.


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