NECSS Student Spotlight

Yennifer Velazquez, an Elk Grove High School grad, completed her first year of college with no student loan debt, thanks to Middle College!

When Yennifer Velazquez decided to become a nurse, the Elk Grove High School junior knew she was looking at years of education—and debt. Then she heard about District 214’s innovative Middle College program with Harper College.

Today, Velazquez, who graduated from EGHS in the spring, has already completed her first year of college and isn’t carrying any student loan debt, thanks to Middle College.

Velazquez heard about Middle College from a friend who was in the program. Middle College at Harper College, now entering its third year, allows students in District 214’s Health Science Career Pathway to spend their senior year taking dual-credit prerequisite courses for nursing at Harper while saving money and earning college credits. The District has a similar program for Business Management and Administration Career Pathway students with National Louis University, funded in part by a generous donor through the District 214 Education Foundation.

For Velazquez, the program sounded ideal. “I have always been passionate about helping others,” she says. “With Middle College, I was excited about starting early and getting ahead—and definitely saving money.”

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