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'I want to make a difference, not just make money'

Mabel Nunez, DMSB'20, describes her experience in the Northeastern University Torch Scholarship Program, and her hopes for the future, for Northeastern Magazine.

Published

December 13, 2017

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Mabel Nunez, DMSB'20, describes her experience in the Northeastern University Torch Scholarship Program, and her hopes for the future, for Northeastern Magazine.

Mabel  Nunez, DMSB'20.

Mabel Nunez, DMSB’20, originally from the Dominican Republic, grew up supporting her family with language translations and help around the house. At the age of 15, she was offered an internship in then-Mayor Thomas Menino’s Office of Youth Engagement and Employment. This role opened her eyes to the world outside of her home, and was her first step toward the Torch Scholarship Program at Northeastern University.


The Torch Scholarship Program, a full tuition scholarship awarded to first-generation college students who have overcome difficult childhoods and have shown potential in academics or other interests, has been changing lives since 2011.

Nunez ultimately joined Mayor Marty Walshs’ Youth Council, which Northeastern cosponsors, and was nominated for the Torch Scholarship by a guidance counselor.

She was offered the scholarship and made the Dean’s List her first semester. Nunez continues to find success inside and outside of the program, completing international business courses, Dialogue of Civilizations trips to Morocco and Spain, and alternative spring breaks focused on helping others.

“Growing up in the inner city, I was never around people who weren’t from Boston. To be able to build connections with people from other countries was something I never thought I’d be able to do,” Nunez says. “The Torch scholarship was a turning point for me. I now feel the need to be an advocate and make a difference. My worldview is no longer so narrow.”

Nunez hopes to one day earn an MBA and launch a socially focused startup or work in impact investing.

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