March 8, 2022

Rachel Vick, a level 2 teacher at The New England Center for Children, has been running since she was 13 years old. During the last decade, running has provided Vick with a number of challenges and opportunities, including the one to run the 126th Boston Marathon raising funds for The New England Center for Children.  

“One thing I can say with certainty is that I love both my job with NECC and running,” said Vick, a Westborough resident. “Having the opportunity to do one to support the other for an even greater cause is something I will be forever grateful for. I am fundraising and running the Boston Marathon for all of the students here at NECC, which is what I will be reminding myself [leading up to] the race. It truly is an honor.” 

Vick works with children who are diagnosed with autism by guiding them in reaching their full potential as a teacher at NECC, a global network of educators, researchers, and programs headquartered in Southborough. “That includes helping them work on their social skills, daily life skills, communication, and academics,” she explained. “We strive for each of our students to master independence and achieve the level of happiness and success that they define for themselves.” 

Vick graduated from the University of Connecticut, where she ran cross country and track, with a bachelor’s degree in human development and family studies. She knew she wanted to work with children, and had an interest in working with children with autism, because her cousin is on the spectrum. “She has been such an inspiration throughout my whole life,” Vick shared.  

The longest race Vick has ever completed was 10 miles, but she has always aimed to complete a marathon one day. “I have a lot of experience when it comes to competitive training and racing, and have loved the process of learning more about the differences in training for short races compared to a marathon,” she said. “I am hoping to gain a lot from this experience, especially gaining confidence in my training and fundraising.” 

To help her reach her $10,00 fundraising goal, Vick organized a virtual 5K in February. For a $10 donation, participants could run the 3.1 miles between February 18 and 20 and received a custom-designed “Be Kind. #ReasonToRun” sticker, a free running playlist and a chance to win an NECC Swag Bag.  

“I am looking forward to the whole process leading up to the race, but especially race day, because I have a couple friends who have completed a marathon who tell me how emotional it can be,” said Vick. “With the fans and all of the support I have gotten from NECC already, it just shows me that race day is going to be filled with a lot of emotions, in the best way possible.”  

To help Vick reach her goal, visit her fundraising website