Libbey Mitchell

Like many teens, Libbey Mitchell graduated high school without a clear direction and entered Bristol to find her path, eventually taking an interest in sociology and psychology. She combined those educational passions with the cost savings of MassTransfer to graduate from the College of Social & Behavioral Sciences at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. After graduation, Libbey went on to work for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro South in Taunton, directly benefiting members of the Bristol community. She worked as one of six on the development team serving as the Advancement Operations Coordinator, in a community-driven role focused on fundraising and stewardship with local partners. Libbey continues to advance in her career and now works as the Development Manager on the Massachusetts Community Events team at the American Cancer Society. Libbey credits Bristol for the educational, financial and professional opportunities the college provided, such as joining the Bristol Advisory Board, and is pleased with the direction that Bristol has helped to give. 

“I’m where I am now because of where I started, so I’m happy.”

Raphael Lopes

Raphael Lopes worked in construction directly out of high school, after a broken collarbone and dislocated shoulder ended his senior season of football. Unwilling to stop playing the sport he loves, Raphael found a semi-pro team in New Bedford and played tight end for eight years. While playing in 2016, he suffered a traumatic injury. Through his care at Rhode Island Hospital and Spaulding Rehabilitation, Raphael had to re-learn how to walk, talk and perform other tasks we all take for granted. 

Through months of effort, Raphael was able to stand, then walk with assistance and eventually walk on his own. His experience working with the physical therapists and gaining a deeper understanding of how his body works inspired him to become a therapist himself, leading him to Bristol. Now, as Bristol’s 500th Occupational Therapy Assistant graduate, he hopes to coach football someday and lead the next generation of athletes.  

“[The physical therapist] stood me up for the first time by myself on a parallel bar. I saw that photo and that inspired me. I said, ‘I’m standing, and now we’re going to get moving.’”

Hailey Charles

Civic Engagement internships at Bristol are an opportunity for students to gain valuable work experience while supporting their communities. Take Hailey Charles, a sustainable agriculture student who interned with Freight Farms in Taunton. Her internship taught her all about hydroponics, including plant pathology, disease identification and farm equipment handling, all while growing food that goes to local food pantries and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro South. Hailey recommends that all students participate in a Civic Engagement internship to grow their skills and give back to the community.

“I learn a lot about hydroponic systems and sustainable agriculture in the classroom, but doing it hands on I’ve learned how to identify diseases much better. I’m much more equipped to handle farming equipment and technology.”

Selma Delaconcepcion

Selma Delaconcepcion is a first-generation college student who immigrated from Brazil to America in 2003. COVID-19 caused Selma to lose her job after working for more than five years as a housekeeper at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. This allowed her the time to pursue an education, beginning in an ESL class. “That was difficult, but I conquered, of course,” Selma said. 

Eventually, Selma received a call from a director she worked for as a housekeeper and was offered a job as an operations manager in Falmouth Hospital. She was later offered a job as an assistant director in Morton Hospital, with 37 housekeepers as her direct reports. 

Selma did not let this impressive career development slow down her pursuit of education or to reach the next step in her career. After completing the HiSET exam, she transitioned into a degree program at the college. She earned the President’s Merit Scholarship in 2023, all while working 65 hours a week to support her husband and three children. 

Selma’s strength and determination to continue serves as an example of how Bristol students can make the most of every opportunity.  

“I decide to keep going on my own... That reminds me, my kids and whoever is around me that they’re going to hear that hard work pays off.” 

Myesha Auguste

Myesha Auguste is a student in the Criminal Justice program who recently completed an internship with the Massachusetts State 911 Department. Her job involves many projects, such as attending outreach events and sending supplies to schools. The outreach events were her favorite part of the internship. She was responsible for instructing children on how to reach 911 either by call or text, and what to say to the operator. She also helped with the equipment distribution program, getting specialized phones to people with permanent disabilities. 

After touring the Massachusetts Correctional Institute in Norfolk and learning about the rehabilitation programs within the facility, Myesha found the path she wants to pursue in her career. Her plan is to create programs to help rehabilitate young criminal offenders. Myesha credits the Massachusetts State 911 internship for professional development and career exploration opportunities.  

“Working here has helped me determine exactly what I want to do. I do love it here.”