Port Charlotte Resident Graduates From International College, Gets Accepted to Law School

Port Charlotte resident Noelle Lourenco is among 371 International College seniors who will graduate on June 9 during the College’s 13th commencement ceremony.

Lourenco, 24, has a perfect 4.0 GPA and has earned a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice. She will attend Nova Southeastern University Law School in Fort Lauderdale this fall. Since enrolling at International College in Fall 2000, she’s been on the Dean’s List all four semesters.

“I knew I wanted to go to law school since I was 7 years old,” she said, adding that Nova was her first choice. She is the first one in her family to earn a college degree.

After earning an associate degree, Lourenco enrolled in International College’s criminal justice program because of its convenience and focus on adult learners.

“I still had to work or I would not have been able to go to school. What was great about International College was I could earn the degree and still work full-time,” said Lourenco, who went through the accelerated program. “I didn’t see that opportunity elsewhere locally. I rave about International College to everyone I know.”

Lourenco credits International College professors and classes for preparing her for law school.

“The professors at International College didn’t teach straight out of the book because they are in the fields themselves and made the studies real and personalized. They went to work and brought those experiences into the classroom, which helped me learn better,” she said.

International College Adjunct Criminal Justice Professor Kurt Hoffman said it was no surprise Lourenco was accepted to Nova, his own alma mater. Hoffman wrote Lourenco a letter of recommendation.

“Noelle is very diligent in her studies. She’s very interested in criminal justice and she’s very focused and very dedicated,” said Hoffman, supervising prosecutor of the State Attorney’s Office in Venice. “She’s a perfect candidate for law school. I think she’ll do extremely well.”

Lourenco plans on attending graduation with some family in tow.

“I’m excited about walking and graduating summa cum laude. The entire family is thrilled,” she said. “Going to International College prepared me to reach my goal of going to law school.”
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