This article was written by By Scott O’Connell for the Telegram & Gazette. The full story can be viewed here.
From the time it picks them up in the morning to when it drops them off at the end of the day, Mount Wachusett Community College’s early college summer program makes an uncommon effort to ensure its students are taken care of.
Two programs the college is offering at its Leominster campus this month – Project Healthcare and Career and College Exploration – go even beyond courtesy services, however, to test the idea: what if students were paid to go to class?
Simply by showing up each day, participants in those initiatives, which are open to Fitchburg, Gardner and Leominster high school students, earn a $600 stipend. On top of that benefit, students can also earn college credits they can use at Mount Wachusett or, in some cases, other higher education institutions.
“A lot of them are providing for their families,” Melissa Bourque-Silva, the Mount Wachusett administrator who oversees the programs, said. “With older students especially, we’re competing with summer jobs.”’