On May 23, members of Westborough Rotary gathered at The BORO, a Westborough Public Schools program designed for students from 18 to 22 years who are eligible for educational services to support their successful transition into adulthood.  Housed in a completely renovated building in the center of Westborough, the BORO provides a welcoming environment for academic and life skills learning, relaxation, and social activities.  Currently, the program supports seven students, with the capacity for future growth to as many as twelve or more.  The BORO staff, led by Community-Based Program Coordinator Emily Stark, helps students develop independent living skills, plan for college, learn how to function as an integrated member of the community, and prepare for a productive career.
 
During our visit, several students, including Allie, pictured here at left, told us of their day-to-day experiences at the BORO program.  Several students used voice synthesis technology to relate their stories. Activities include cooking, searching for and preparing for job interviews, creating Powerpoint presentations, and reviewing their individual education plans (IEPs).  Allie, who was particularly enthusiastic about welcoming her Rotary friends, told us how much she enjoyed interacting with students from other area programs, how she enjoys miniature golf and making quesadillas, and of her success with calculus and other advanced math courses at a local college.
 
Scheduled to open this fall and colocated with the BORO in a dedicated space, The Sugar Shack, an operating commercial candy store, will provide students with vocational experience under the direction of BORO program staff. School officials are currently seeking both financial and advisory support for this aspect of the program.
 
Our members were touched by the students and impressed by both the facility and staff.  A committee has been formed to explore opportunities for our Club members to be a part of the BORO program. Contact Shelby Marshall if you'd like to be involved.
 
For more photos of our visit to The BORO Program, please click here. Thanks to Shelby, Ron Goodenow, and Reina Rago for sending these along.