LifeLinks Goes Back to Class

LifeLinks Goes Back to Class

“What motivated you to pursue a career in human services?”

“Who are the people you work with at LifeLinks CLASS?”

“What do I need to do pursue a career in this field?”

Questions like this were the norm on November 7, when members of the LifeLinks CLASS team met with students at Northern Essex Community College in an engaging back-and-forth experiential learning activity. Senior Director of Operations John Whittemore, Director of Residential Services Angie Otieno, and Chief Marketing Officer Dan Esdale were invited by Professor Lisa Fabbri Lopez to be guest presenters in her Community Resources and Client Populations class at the college’s Haverhill campus.

“This field is all about people – whether it’s the people who utilize our services or the people who work in the field,” said Whittemore about his class visit. “It’s really one of the most rewarding careers anyone can have – where you know at the end of the day you’ve made a difference – and sharing that aspect of my career is something I’m fortunate to be able to do!” Whittemore has spent his entire professional career in human services, spanning nearly 20 years.

Students in the program pursue a range of human services disciplines, including social work, mental health and developmental disability services, addiction treatment, and elderly care. They are pursuing certificates and associate’s degrees at the school which enrolls nearly 7,000 full- and part-time students.

“Recruiting talented and dedicated people to join this field is a priority, and it’s wonderful to spend time with the future leaders who will be undertaking this important work,” said Otieno who is in her 15th year with LifeLinks CLASS.

Esdale, who joined LifeLinks CLASS this year after serving as chief marketing officer for Suffolk University, also spent time at Merrimack College, addressing students in Professor Michaele Morrow’s Intro to Business 1100 class in the Girard School of Business.

“Spending time in a classroom with students from the community is so motivating for any professional, and particularly rewarding for students to gain perspective from people in the field,” said Esdale. “My message is a simple one: follow your passion – it’s what brought me to LifeLinks CLASS.”

You can learn more about the human services programs at Northern Essex Community College at