The “We the Women” series will feature an in person interview with Springfield Technical Community College alumna Shirley Arragia ’15, who recently won the Democratic Nomination for state representative (8th Hampden District).

Arragia is a graduate of the Liberal Arts Transfer program at STCC.

Come to the Student Learning Commons (Building 19) forum for Lidya Rivera-Early’s talk with Arragia on Wednesday, Oct. 12, 12:15-1:30. The event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Director of Community Engagement Lidya Rivera at

Here is her bio:

I was raised in Chicopee by a single mother, who worked hard to provide for our family. I am a proud product of the Chicopee public schools, attending Stefanik Elementary, Bellamy Middle, and graduated from Chicopee High School in 2007 with honors. In high school, I served as class President, President of the Art Club, Deputy Commander in JROTC, attended Girls State, and volunteered at the Holyoke Soldiers Home.

I am the fourth of five children, and was raised Catholic with a strong emphasis on public service, including military and law enforcement. My older brother has been in the Air Force for 17 years, and my uncle and cousins served in the Marines.

I enlisted in the United States Air Force at the age of 20 during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan out of a sense of duty to our country, and served until my honorable discharge in July 2020. I served as Loadmaster in the 337th Airlift Squadron out of Westover ARB, and eventually earned the rank of Staff Sergeant. I was proud to be a part of the Women in Aviation Initiative.

While serving in the Air Force and raising my daughter, I completed a Bachelor’s at Elms College. I secured a full-time position as Veterans Liaison for Congressman Richard E. Neal. During my time there, I received all kinds of calls from Western Mass veterans, and assisted them with issues ranging from mortgage foreclosures and utility shut downs, to death and funeral assistance, to calls from senior citizens trying to contact Medicare to cover prescriptions or daily necessities. I helped hundreds of people access healthcare and learned the power of government when it works for you.

After several years of aiding constituents, I decided to further my education to continue serving our community in a greater capacity. At the age of 29, I enrolled at Western New England School of Law. Today, I live in Aldenville with my 8 year old daughter, Winter.