By Jacqueline Jeon-Chapman, Contributing writer
Marlborough – While most high school students spent this past summer playing sports, attending summer camps or traveling, one Marlborough High School student, junior William Goliger, painted stairs, started sing-alongs, danced to Zumba, and helped host a Christmas party at the Marlborough Senior Center.
“I wanted to do work that I felt was impactful, and working to better the lives of seniors appealed to me as important,” said Goliger, whose summer internship included a variety of tasks and events meant to bolster the residents” spirits, in addition to duties such as making copies and running errands.
One task involved painting the edges of the stairs of the Senior Center yellow to prevent visitors from tripping, a seemingly small modification that can mean a big difference to those with poor vision.
Goliger said the jobs were an interesting and unique experience.
“I have never been a real handyman, so it was a fun experience for me.”
Additionally, Goliger utilized prior interests and experiences while organizing programs for
the seniors. When interviewing for the internship, Goliger mentioned that he sang in the Immaculate Conception Parish Choir, the Marlborough High School Mixed Chorus, and the Marlborough High School a cappella group, Voices ReChoired.
“My boss [Jennifer Claro, executive director of the Senior Center] asked me if I would be interested in hosting two sing-alongs,” Goliger said. “I loved the idea!”
In addition to singing, Goliger has spent 13 years dancing at The Ceil Sharon School of Dance, so joining the Center's Zumba class was an easy decision.
“Mary Ann Cooney, an old friend and [dance] teacher of mine, led the class and told me I was always welcome to join,” Goliger said. “Years ago, when Ceil Sharon, who was my godmother, taught Zumba, I used to periodically go with her and assist her in teaching. Working with Mrs. Cooney was a lot of fun.”
As a special surprise for the seniors, Goliger helped organize Christmas in July, a holiday-themed party held midway through the summer.
“Laura [a fellow intern] and I, along with the rest of the staff, spent many hours looking for Christmas items in July, and getting into the holiday spirit to surprise the seniors,” Goliger said.
Reflecting on the summer, Goliger said he will always remember the experience of working with the seniors.
“Working at the Senior Center was a blast,” he said. “With the collection of unique, wonderful people, and the fact that there was always some sort of event going on, there was never a dull moment.”