HAVERHILL/LAWRENCE — Northern Essex Community College has created a new scholarship in memory of Mary DiGiovanni, a nurse who founded the Human Service Program at NECC and served as its coordinator for three decades, until her retirement in 2001.
The college now offers an associate degree in human services as well as certificates in alcohol/drug abuse counseling, children’s behavioral health specialist, community support human services practitioner, direct support, and peer recovery specialist, all of which can be traced to DiGiovanni and her passion for advocating for individuals who can’t advocate for themselves, said Dr. Paul Bevilacqua, who was her colleague and then, as vice president of academic affairs, her supervisor for many years.
“Where she found the time to do all the things she did, I have no idea,” he said. “She was continuous motion. Students loved her because they knew she cared deeply.”
“We are creating this scholarship in memory of our mother and her dedication to the human services profession,” said her son, Mark DiGiovanni. “Her passion in life was teaching and advocating for people with disabilities. She found her calling while at NECC in educating students on caring for others. We hope this scholarship will help others to follow in her footsteps.”
Permanently endowed scholarships, with naming opportunities and criteria restrictions, can be created with a minimum commitment of $25,000, college officials said.
Donations can be made via check or online (www.necc.mass.edu/giving) to The NECC Foundation, 100 Elliott St., Haverhill, MA 01830. Please write (The Mary DiGiovanni Human Services Scholarship) on the memo line or in the comments for online giving.
To learn more, contact Allison Dolan-Wilson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 978-556-3624.