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Faces Of New Bedford #196: James Perry

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Meet James Perry, 30-year-old Program Retention Counselor at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. James grew up in New Bedford and when he was in high school, he wasn’t sure he would ever attend university. He had a 2.2 GPA and because he was a quiet student, he never spoke up when he didn’t understand something and suffered alone as many students do.

After being introduced to the College Now Program, which focuses on helping first-generation and low-income students enroll in college, he was enrolled at Umass Dartmouth. For the first time he was excelling in school but due to unfortunate financial circumstances, he was forced to take time off from school.

James didn’t let this defeat him though, as he immediately started volunteering with Child and Family Services, which led to a full-time position as a therapeutic mentor. Soon after, he was enrolled at Fisher College, taking online classes toward his Bachelors Degree and then going on to finish his Master’s Degree where his college career began, Umass Dartmouth.

Today, James works for the program that first afforded him an opportunity at higher education, as the Program Retention Counselor for the College Now Program at UMass Dartmouth. His responsibilities include recruiting high school students for the programs, as well as equipping the students in the program with the resources and guidance to make it through their time at school.

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Faces of New Bedford is a project by Colton Simmons. If you are interested in booking a shoot or getting prints from the series email all inquiries to colton@coltonsimmons.com. Follow Colton on Instagram: https://instagram.com/simmonscolton

Read more of the Faces of New Bedford series here.

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