What is WACA?

Yamuna Turco

December 8, 2020

The Winchendon School is a community made up of people from all walks of life; we hail from all corners of the world. Our diverse student population, therefore, requires representation and guidance from those who have previously been a part of the student community here at The Winchendon School.

The Winchendon Alumni of Colour Association, or WACA, is an organization created by alumni and current students of colour at The Winchendon School. The goal of the program is to provide students of color at the two campuses with advice on experience the alumni have had. Any questions or concerns can also be brought up to the representatives and alumni board! Created by recent alumni Allesandra Adam ‘19, Linet Cardoso ‘20, and Sophia Frushell ‘17, and has three student representatives, Mbali McCluskey-Nightengale ‘21, Nan’kware Elimani ‘21, and Chelsea Mendez ‘21.

The main purpose of WACA is to encourage and promote unity and community. The celebration of heritage and in a person’s ethnicity, rather than feeling like it should be suppressed, is encouraged in the safe spaces the organization seeks to create and set up. WACA seeks to work with affinity groups to ensure all voices are heard and listened to. The alumni heads and the students representatives meet with the administration to explain and express any issues faced by current students or alumni. And although it is directed mainly toward students of color, there will be countless opportunities for everyone in The Winchendon School community to be involved and learn about the issues facing certain minority groups. Through this WACA hopes to achieve its main goal of inclusivity, and help students engage inn meaningful and thought-provoking conversations.

Co-founder and former student Allesandra Adams ‘19 said, “It is important to me because even though I didn’t always struggle with bias from the school, and people have said that because I accomplished a lot of things here I am fighting for something that doesn’t exist, I know by hearing things from my peers that there are things that need to be changed.”

WACA plans to provide students of color with the tools to face a world that may not be kind to them, but hopes to help all students discuss matters that may be hard to swallow.