Since moving to Athens in 2009, Borges sought out different ways to help the Latino community, such as helping students in school, creating programs, and making sure everyone gets help who needs it.
“I heard Athens was a really progressive town, and there were a lot of programs in the community. That’s kind of what made me move here,” Borges said.
Borges got a job at the Clarke County School District as a migrant education specialist to help families who move frequently and to provide services for migrant students whose education is interrupted. In 2012, Borges became the executive director of Casa de Amistad, a nonprofit that identifies and address’s the needs of the under served Latino community.
Casa de Amistad started in 2000 as a way to help Latino families find housing and other resources when people were being forced to relocate due to apartments being built on the land. In 2004, it officially became Casa de Amistad and began providing classes and programs. In 2010, it got 501(c)(3) status as a nonprofit.
As executive director of Casa de Amistad, Borges is constantly looking to identify and resolve the needs of the Latino population in Athens.
“I look at what the needs are, and I create programs depending on what those needs are,” Borges said.
Currently, Casa de Amistad has multiple programs, such as English and Spanish classes, guitar lessons, computer and outreach classes, child after-school programs with tutors and a food distribution program.
Recognizing a major need for a food distribution program, Borges set out to establish a program of its type.
“I think it’s one of the most popular programs that we have right now,” Borges said.
“As executive director of a nonprofit, he doesn’t always have to be directly involved, but in any of the ventures of Casa de Amistad, he’s always involved. He’s very hands-on and doesn’t delegate. Even in distributing the food, he’s out there with a clipboard distributing the food. That’s a good indication of a good leader,” said Paul Duncan, a board member for Casa de Amistad.
Under Borges’ leadership, Casa de Amistad has grown to serving 540 families in 2013. To accommodate so many families, Casa de Amistad enlists the help of around 120 volunteers, including college students and Athens residents.
“Alex is really good at going out into the community and bringing people in for services that they may need whether it be the English classes, financial lessons, or computer classes,” said Thomas Stukes, Casa de Amistad English teacher and volunteer. He kind of lets us do our own thing with teaching, and that is why we’re doing a good job.”
When he isn’t at the Casa de Amistad building on Commerce Road, he spends time at his day job as a migrant education specialist. For this job, Borges prepares lesson plans and visits schools around Athens. He communicates with middle and high school students, as well as out-of-school youth and dropouts. He helps them find jobs, learn English, find scholarships, and connect them with any resources they might need.
Borges is a member of the Latin American and Caribbean Studies Institute (LACSI) advisory board at the University of Georgia.
He also serves as the resident manager at the Taylor-Grady House. Located on Prince Avenue, this historic house is rented out for different events, and Borges’ job is to make sure the events run smoothly. Borges resides in the Taylor-Grady House with his three dogs and partner.
Originally from Puerto Rico, Borges moved to Rome, Ga in 2004. While there, he got his psychology degree and a minor in French from Shorter College and worked as a hospital interpreter.
“He doesn’t do the job because it’s just a job. He’s passionate about the Latino community. He enjoys helping and serving people, and it’s reflected in his work,” Duncan said.
1. Alex Borges, firstname.lastname@example.org, 706-206-2087
2. Paul Duncan, 706-583-0619
3. Thomas Stukes, email@example.com