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Sergeant Miguel Lopez

Worcester Police Department

In a strange turn of events, Miguel Lopez’ decision not to go to college eventually led him to the Quinsigamond Community College campus. After a stint in the National Guard and some odd jobs, he took advantage of the GI Bill®, a choice he calls "a lifesaver."

A 1988 South High graduate, Miguel enrolled in QCC’s criminal justice program in 1990, looking toward a career in law. "I immediately blossomed as a person," he said. "The professors brought out the best in me, and I excelled right away."

In 1992, he earned his associate degree from QCC and applied to UMass Lowell, nervous that he was making a mistake. "But I hit the ground running. Quinsigamond prepared me for the lateral transition," he said.

By the time he received his bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from UMass Lowell, he accumulated significant student debt, so when the Worcester Police Department offered him a job, he took it. "It was then that I decided law was not the best thing for me. I could make a bigger impact as a police officer."

Miguel has been a QCC trustee since 2009 and enjoys the opportunity to see the "mechanics of everything behind the curtain." In the greater community, he served on the board for the Boys & Girls Club and currently chairs the Worcester Latino Education Institute and is a member of the Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative steering committee.

Miguel chose QCC at a time when the college was a household name among the Latino population due to its extensive work in English as a second language (ESL). "Now the school is again a household name due to the work of leadership. QCC not only has an eye on the world, bridging com-munities, but it is also leading the way in workforce development."