On January 1, 2018, Stephany Infante (2012), officially stepped into her role as a member of the Greater Lawrence Technical School District Committee representing the City of Lawrence. Infante, who was the Student Representative to the Committee while attending the school, is presently the youngest member on the committee and the first Hispanic female to ever be elected to the District Committee. Stephany was excited to be a “first” but is determined to not be defined by that. “I just have to do the job to prove myself – you know it’s great that I’m the first Hispanic woman, but it’s my work ethic that will speak for me.”
“Mr. Hatem was one of my favorite teachers. When I would visit his shop to get information for the School Committee reports he would always end our conversation with a big smile and would say ‘Make us look good, make us proud!’” Stephany Infante is doing just that!
Stephany grew up in the Mount Vernon section of Lawrence with her two sisters, Gilliannie and Melanie, and their parents George and Soribel. The Infante’s were involved with a number of commercial businesses and real estate. Infante attended an Open House at GLTS and made her decision to attend when she realized she could study marketing. “I thought maybe I could help out my parents if I learned marketing.”
Many of her friends who went on to Lawrence High questioned her decision. “They’d say, ‘you won’t go to college, you won’t have a great career’ and I said ‘Oh yeah? Just watch me!’” Infante laughed. “I think people are starting to see the positives of a vocational education. The workforce is becoming more technical as we move into the future and there’s a real spotlight on technical schools right now.”
Infante was active at GLTS right from the get go. She was involved with Reggie Leaders and the Interact Club as well as playing varsity tennis and being the captain of the Cheerleading squad for two years. She served as vice president and president of the student council.
Miss Shea and Mrs. O’Brian were both very influential teachers. “The reason why I was involved so much was because of them. They were definitely supportive and wanted us to learn as much as we could, in and out of the shop, so I became heavily involved with extracurricular activities.”
Stephany tackled her shyness with the help of John Mejia. “We used to do the Reggie News – little five minute segments where Mr. Mejia would record the students presenting the school news, or we’d report live from the house project, and I was super shy. He would say ‘What are you scared for? You can do it and you’re going to do it!’ He really pushed me out of my comfort zone.”
Infante credits Victor Martinez for much of her success as well. “Mr. Martinez was hard. He didn’t sugar coat anything. But he’d always tell us we could do anything and he’d push us. My best memory was when he spoke highly about his students who got accepted into colleges or who were doing well and that really motivated me. I wanted to be one of those students he bragged about in the future. He would say ‘you have to push yourself because no one else is going to do the job for you.”
Stephany graduated from GLTS and enrolled in Fitchburg State where she majored in business administration with a concentration in marketing and continued to push herself. She worked in the Office of Student Development helping to oversee all the student clubs and organizations and served as the University’s Student Trustee her senior year.
“It was great, I was a voting member on the Board of Trustees and they took me seriously. I learned a lot about how a university operated.” She was a member of the student government and was the liaison to the Mayor of Fitchburg’s office. Her senior year she secured an internship at Edible Arrangements’ corporate office in Wallingford, Ct. and proceeded to rack up the mileage on her car.
Stephany laughed, “I was running around a lot. I was driving from Fitchburg to Wallingford and then on the weekends I’d drive back home to Lawrence so I could work at the store.” In 2016, she graduated from Fitchburg and worked full time in the marketing division of Edible Arrangements before landing her current job as the Senior Marketing Coordinator for Charles River Laboratories in Wilmington.
Infante works with both the marketing and sales teams to help implement marketing campaigns and support account managers in reaching out to their clients. “It’s great, because our department specifically is always looking for fresh ideas and innovative ideas. We’re lucky to have that support from management.”
Last year, Stephany learned that there would be an open seat on the GLTS District Committee. “I thought about it, and I thought wouldn’t it be so cool to come back and have a voice and have an impact on my city!” She entered the race as a write in candidate.
“I started attending neighborhood meetings. I networked with city counselors and they introduced me to residents. It was great to meet so many residents!”
“GLTS gave me endless opportunities and was the starting point for so many of my future accomplishments. I wanted to find a way to give back to the GLTS community and I believe serving on the School Committee will allow me to do that.”
When asked where she sees herself in ten years, Infante isn’t sure exactly but it will definitely involve her desire to help the youth of her community. “I want to help the Hispanic youth succeed. I love to inspire them to go after their hopes and dreams. I want to build on that foundation.”