Carly Borken is an environmentalist, a woman of vision, a change agent. In a few short years, she has strengthened and refined Taft’s already strong commitment living green. She has not only raised environmental awareness on campus, she has actively worked to reduce Taft’s carbon footprint.
“One day Taft students will be making real-world business decisions,” says Borken. “I want to help them understand the environmental implications and context of those decisions—I am priming our kids to make a much bigger impact on environmental justice than if I were to do it all by myself.”
And Borken understands the impact even high schoolers can make: her own high school discovery of a threatened species helped preserve 175 acres of land otherwise destined for development.
“I was fortunate enough to be involved in a project that actually had an impact, and I thought, ‘This is what I want to do.’”
Borken created Taft’s “EcoMons” program—students who serve as Taft’s environmental leaders. She introduced the farm program and the Green Rhino Room Certification program. She and her students maintain a solar-powered chicken coop on campus, travel to Woods Hole to study Oceanography, study the viability of raising tilapia as a food source in resource-poor areas, and implement sustainability-driven changes across campus, like the borrow-a-mug and hydration station initiatives. Her passion is coaching crew. Borken has grown Taft’s rowing program, and strengthened their already competitive position in the very deep prep school field.
“The sense of community,” Borken notes, “is strong and very, very special.”