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Lowell Woman Earns Award at MCC Graduation

August 12, 2018

Jennifer Khuy is a master juggler. As the mother of a 5-year-old son, a part-time preschool teacher and a recent Middlesex Community College graduate, Khuy would probably just like to curl up and take a nap.

But she often has papers to write, laundry to do and goals to accomplish -- goals like transferring to UMass Lowell to earn a Bachelor’s degree. Napping can wait.

Khuy, 27, grew up in Lynn and transferred to Middlesex from another local community college after moving to Lowell two years ago. She recently graduated with a degree in Early Childhood Education Transfer. She also received the 2018 Engaged Scholar Award.

Khuy was drawn to study Early Childhood Education because, “I believe the early years of a child’s development are vital to their growth.”

A first-generation college student whose family does not value earning a college degree the way she does, Khuy said the support she received through MCC’s TRIO Student Support Program has been a lifeline.

For more than 25 years, MCC’s federally supported TRIO programs have provided qualified students with comprehensive and coordinated services that significantly increase their rates of retention, graduation and transfer.

“Middlesex changed my life for the better,” Khuy said. “And becoming part of the TRIO program was one of the best decisions I ever made. It opened many doors for me through workshops, field trips and networking.”

Khuy said one of the highlights of her time at MCC was participating in last summer’s Project Adventure Program through TRIO.

“We climbed trees and walked across a tightrope,” she said. “I may not have been the best one out there, but I surely enjoyed it.”

But keeping all of those balls in the air can sometimes be a struggle, she said. It’s the support of her MCC family that kept her moving forward.

“I have learned that if I want it enough, nothing can stop me,” she said. “After enrolling in MCC and joining TRIO, I managed to meet and surpass each one of my goals.”

In addition to pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education, her future goals also include earning a Master’s degree.

“I have never liked feeling dependent on others,” Khuy said. “I like to know that I can fend for myself and for my son. I will always work hard and make sure I have a place to go to work, so that I can provide for my son and offer him everything I was never able to have when I was younger.”

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