His journey from Albania to U.S. is a success

Courtesy photoHaverhill resident Vasil Zisi is the latest recipient of the Outstanding Student Award at Northern Essex Community College. Here he wears his protective mask while holding a laptop computer that came with the award.

HAVERHILL — Vasil Zisi is tops at Northern Essex Community College.

Zisi, a Haverhill resident, is the latest recipient of the school's Outstanding Student Award.

He was chosen for the award following several nominations and approval of the NECC Alumni Board.

The award is given annually to a graduating NECC student who has exemplified commitment to community service and high academic achievement. The recipient must be nominated for the award and approved by the college's Alumni Board.

The student selected for the award receives a Dell laptop and an award certificate.

Upon being told he won the award, Zisi expressed his gratitude.

"This award means a lot to me,” he said. "Coming from a small country like Albania and going to college in the United States was a different experience for me. Despite the difficulties that I had in the beginning with my English, the staff was very accepting of me and helpful when I had questions. This award means so much to me and my family because my hard work is being recognized."

A business transfer student, Zisi began his academic journey at NECC in the fall of 2018, after coming to the U.S. from Albania. Since that time, he has received various accolades for his scholastic achievements and involvement in college service activities.

He received an NECC merit scholarship award in the spring of 2019 and was nominated for the “29 Who Shine” award, a program that recognizes outstanding graduates from the state's public higher education system. In addition, Zisi is a Student of the Month award winner, a nominated member of the National Society of Leadership and Success, and a member of Alpha Beta Gamma. He will be graduating with high honors — and a near-perfect grade point average — this spring.

In a letter of recommendation for the award, Patricia Machado, professor of economics at NECC, lauded Zisi's academic prowess.

"He is an excellent student with an exceptional work ethic," Machado wrote. "Vasil was always prepared for class, contributed valuable discussion points regarding current events in economics, and was one of the top students in the class."

Zisi will continue his studies at a four-year college in the fall, at which time he will pursue a bachelor’s degree in business with the ultimate goal of one day operating his own company. He has applied to a variety of colleges and universities to date, including Suffolk, UMass Lowell, Babson and Bentley, and has already been accepted by several of them.

Earlier this spring, he got a head start on his career journey through an accounting internship at Aphios Corporation, where he continues to work.

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