Robinson named first recipient of Goldblatt Scholarship
By Bonnie Adams, Managing Editor
Westborough – Some students excel during their four years of high school, others start to shine when they are in college and some don's really hit their stride until later in their adulthood. No one knows this better than Lydia Goldblatt.
A dedicated Westborough town official for over 20 years, she is quite candid when she notes that she was “not the most inspired student” while in high school. And although she took a number of college courses, she never attained a degree. But there is no disputing that this Westborough resident has anything but a strong work ethic, commitment to public service and love of town and country.
For 24 years, she served in a number of capacities in Westborough town government including Board of Selectmen, School Committee and Finance Committee. During the course of those years, she also served in the then-Gov. Mitt Romney administration at various times as statewide volunteer coordinator, director of External Relations, and chair for the state's Civil Service Commission. She also served as director of Constituent Services and the deputy state director for then-Senator Scott Brown.
When she decided to step down from town government in 2012 several of her friends sought to honor her by establishing a scholarship in her name at Westborough High School (WHS).
“Lydia devoted so much time to our town,” one of those friends, current Selectman Leigh Emery, said. “She has always had an interest in kids” education so we thought this would be a great way to honor her.”
Goldblatt said she loved the idea as long as she could establish what the criteria would be.
“They did not have to be a top student but rather someone who worked hard and didn's mind digging in. They had to be a good and honorable citizen,” she said.
And in Brett Robinson, she said she found her perfect candidate to receive the inaugural year scholarship of $500.
“He's a great young man,” Goldblatt said. “It was important to me that I had a chance to chat with him and learn more about him. I felt a strong connection with him – I told him “I's you and you'se me.”"
Robinson said he too felt an immediate kinship with Goldblatt.
“I knew of her but had never met her before,” he said. “But when I applied for the scholarship I could see myself in the description of what she was looking for. When I met her, I felt comfortable immediately. I had a great time talking with her. It was amazing – I could see that both us were really connecting with our stories.”
Robinson, who lives in Westborough with his mother Kristen, noted one of the highlights of his senior year was participating in the Building Bridges program, which partners WHS students with students in the elementary schools.
For the last three months, each Monday he went to the Hastings Elementary School and played with the kids during their gym class.
“It was a lot of fun – it was like 20 kids coming at you at once all the time!” he laughed. “It was great. They all made me thank you cards and were hugging me on the last day. It was sad for all of us – I am going to miss them all.”
Next on his agenda is attending Worcester State University where he plans on majoring in biology and then hopefully continuing his education at the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences.
“I know I have a long road ahead of me but I am up to the challenge,” he said. “I's going to work hard.”
And he also knows in Goldblatt, he has a supporter who will be cheering him every step of way.
“I just want to thank her,” he added. “This scholarship is definitely going to help me. She has really inspired me.”
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