Bridges resident Anne Lawson takes the lead while dancing with
Nicholas Anderson, a junior from Chelmsford, during the “Senior Prom”
that Nashoba Tech’s Health Assisting program held for residents of the
assisted-living facility. (Courtesy - Dan Phelps)

Nashoba Tech and Bridges by EPOCH Host Second Annual “Senior Dance”

The years melted away for about 30 residents of Bridges by EPOCH as they danced to songs from their youth at Nashoba Valley Technical High School’s “Senior Prom.”

Bridges resident Anne Lawson takes the lead while dancing with Nicholas Anderson, a junior from Chelmsford, during the “Senior Prom” that Nashoba Tech’s Health Assisting program held for residents of the assisted-living facility. (Courtesy - Dan Phelps)

Bridges resident Anne Lawson takes the lead while dancing with
Nicholas Anderson, a junior from Chelmsford, during the “Senior Prom”
that Nashoba Tech’s Health Assisting program held for residents of the
assisted-living facility. (Courtesy – Dan Phelps)

The Hollywood-themed prom brought students together with seniors from the assisted-living facility next to the school on Littleton Road

Now in its second year, the event was spawned as the senior project of Lowell’s Nellie Ramos, who was looking for a way for those with Alzheimer’s, dementia and other forms of memory loss to hearken back to younger days and give students a way to help their elders.

Ramos — who is now a first-year Nursing student at Middlesex
Community College and works as a certified nursing assistant at
Chelmsford Crossings, an assisted-living facility — said she’s happy
Nashoba Tech and Bridges “are keeping the tradition alive.”

“It’s good to interact with each other in a different environment,”
she said. “And it’s good for the residents to reminisce and remember
the old days.”

Several student volunteers are regulars at Bridges, but the dance provided a different and different atmosphere for both the students and the seniors.

“It’s absolutely wonderful,” said Abbi Laushine, life-enrichment
director at Bridges. “The students get a different aspect from what
they usually see. They see each other in a different way.”

“It’s so good for the kids, for the residents, for the school,” said
Health Assisting Instructor Theresa Ristaino. “It’s amazing. Some
days, some of these kids are so shy they won’t even talk to me, but
here they are, dancing, acting goofy, getting dressed up.

Ristaino said many programs at Nashoba Tech helped out with the
event, including Culinary Arts, Automotive Collision Repair &
Refinishing, Engineering, TV & Media Production/Theatre Arts, Design &
Visual Communications, and Banking/Marketing/Retail. She added that
the Westford Kiwanis Club and Westford Rotary Club donated to the
cause.