For NECC students like Charlie, the 5K Walk/Run for Autism presented by Avidia Bank is a big day. Not only does it represent the type of inclusion and community that makes NECC a truly special place, but it also provides him a chance to accomplish a goal. This year, that goal is to break his previous 5K record of 28 minutes.

With this objective in mind, Charlie, along with the rest of the students at his residence, have dedicated themselves to training. It may not always be easy, as there are days where he’s sore or tired, but that has not impacted his commitment to improving his body and mind prior to race day. In addition to his usual routine of school work and vocational education, Charlie is now two months into an extensive training regimen. He works out six days per week, running with his friends Xander and Bradley some days, while on others, he does yoga to relax and improve his flexibility. Altogether, this routine is paying dividends. He’s focused on his goal and he says with a smile, “I’m looking forward to the 5K.”

While this year’s race will be nontraditional, as due to the current public health situation NECC has made the decision to transition to a virtual event, that does not change the impact that it has on students and families alike. Now more than ever, in the midst of social distancing, this event allows students like Charlie, and everybody in the NECC community, to come together and bring a sense of unity to our lives. May 9th, race day, may be different this year, but that won’t stop Charlie from striving for his goals, or from the rest of NECC from supporting our incredible school.

Register today here!

Thank you to our sponsors for making this special day possible:

Avidia Bank


Bay State Physical Therapy

FITTS Insurance

Greenwood Industries Inc.

Ken’s Foods

New England Dental Group

Priority Fire and Security Inc.

Southborough Wellness

The Apparel Project

The Willz Family

This End Up Furniture Company

About The New England Center for Children

The New England Center for Children® (NECC®) is an award-winning autism education center and research institute. Our community of teachers, researchers, and clinicians have transformed the lives of thousands of children with autism worldwide through education, research, and technology. The Center provides comprehensive services to maximize independence: home-based, day, and residential programs, partner classrooms in public school systems, consulting services, the ACE® ABA Software System (, teacher professional development, and research on educational best practices.

NECC is committed to staff professional development, partnering with local colleges to provide on-site graduate training and degrees at little to no cost to the NECC teacher. The result is a growing pool of exceptional teachers trained in best-in-class methodologies, whether they continue their careers at NECC or move on to public schools or private agencies. The New England Center for Children is based in Southborough, MA, and operates a center in Abu Dhabi, UAE. Learn more at