The Future of Maine Initiative
To inform and inspire early aspirations . . . to empower the youth
of rural Maine . . . to build a brighter future for themselves . . .
and for their communities.
Each year, we talk with over 4000 Maine elementary and middle school students about the opportunity of higher education, colleges, college majors, and careers after college. We award over 500 College Aspirations Scholarships each year, to recognize students’ early effort and aspirations. By engaging communities and colleges, we help young students develop their aspirations for the future. These students, and their aspirations, are the future of Maine.
1. College Aspirations Workshops for students in grades 3 - 8, along with accompanying posters, college lists, and on-going answers to student questions via email. These workshops, led by Maine College Circle in partnership with the Mitchell Institute and Mitchell Scholars currently in college, discuss with students in grades 3 – 8 the opportunities of education beyond high school, and the careers they can lead to. And, how students can pursue their aspirations today to build a brighter future.
2. $100 College Aspirations Scholarships awarded to students in grades 3 - 8, based on effort on an essay on college and career aspirations, and effort in school. Scholarships are locally-funded and redeemable upon enrollment in any post-secondary educational program or for college application costs or to support their college aspirations. Over 3500 have been awarded in the past thirteen years.
3. Community scholarship ceremonies to award scholarships and celebrate the effort and aspirations of scholarship recipients.
4. Distribution of "College Crosswords" to engage students in exploration of the opportunity of higher education, with the option to participate in the Maine College Knowledge Bowl.
5. The “Maine Word About College” monthly newsletter, written by Maine college students about the experience of college -- the challenges and the rewards.
6. The “College Answers” site with over 200 college questions from elementary and middle school students in Maine, answered by Maine college students. This is an opportunity for elementary and middle school classrooms to get answers to their college questions from Maine college students throughout the year.
7. We are developing the Maine Pre-Degree Program with Maine colleges to help young Future of Maine College Aspirations Scholarship recipients, and others, develop their skills, knowledge, and interest in their stated career of interest, on a pathway through higher education to a career they are proud of. Each grade 4 - 12 curriculum will include three grade-appropriate components: study, research, and a local connection.
Maine College Circle
251 Main Street
Yarmouth, Maine 04096