State House Honor
HCC student Jasmine Errico one of the state's "29 Who Shine"
Graduating HCC student Jasmine Errico was honored in Boston Friday as one of the "29 Who Shine," the Dept. of Higher Education's annual awards that recognize one student from each of the 29 public colleges and universities in Massachusetts.
"The 29 Who Shine honorees are exceptional student leaders who saw a way to improve something and acted on it, and for that we are grateful. They are a credit to the colleges and universities they attend. We are proud of their contributions to their communities and the Commonwealth," said Education Secretary James Peyser.
The awards ceremony was held Friday, May 5, at the base of the Grand Staircase in the Massachusetts State House.
Each of Massachusetts' 29 public college and university campuses selects its own honoree for the "29 Who Shine" awards based on criteria established by the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education. Students are required to be residents of Massachusetts who have strong academic profiles and a record of civic engagement.
Errico, a trained doula who lives in Easthampton, volunteers with the nonprofit Prison Birth Project in Holyoke. She will graduate May 27 with high honors and her associate degrees in liberal arts. She has been accepted to Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, where she intends to study medical anthropology. A single mother herself who has struggled with homelessness and addiction, Jasmine hopes to one day work as a clinical nurse midwife and offer reproductive services to low-income women, women of color and women battling substance abuse or domestic violence.
You can read more about her in the recent HCC News profile: "Mother of Inspiration."
"Every year the 29 Who Shine remind us that our public college and university graduates represent the future of the Commonwealth," said Carlos E. Santiago, commissioner of Higher Education. "They are here to learn, here to stay, and it is incredibly inspiring to see how each honoree is contributing to our common good."
Also recognized at the event was Jasmine's staff mentor, Irma Medina, coordinator of HCC's Pathways Program.
PHOTO by CHRIS YURKO: HCC student Jasmine Errico, far right, poses with Gov. Charllie Baker, her grandmother and HCC president Christina Royal, far left, after receiving a 29 Who Shine award from the Dept. of Higher Education at the State House Friday, May 5.