Maine College Circle reaches out to elementary school students, building aspirations for education beyond high school
On Monday, May 11, at 7pm at the Jesup Library in Bar Harbor, Maine College Circle (MeCC), with support from Dead River Company, will award 20 local students Future of Maine College Aspirations Scholarships.
For more than fifteen years, Maine College Circle has conducted workshops and reached more than 64,000 students in 124 Maine communities. The College Aspirations Scholarships are awarded to grade-school students based on an essay about college and career aspirations. Scholarships are redeemable upon enrollment in any post-secondary educational program
This year, MeCC held workshops for 3-8 graders in area schools where students discuss the idea and value of higher education, the opportunities that are available for everyone, and why college or some form of education after high school is essential.
“Our goal is not to send more kids to college, it is to develop more kids who want to go to college,” said Bob Stuart, Executive Director for Maine College Circle. “Knowledge and education have the greatest potential to build a brighter future for our children. With early aspirations and motivation, all students can succeed in college. What holds most students back from success in education is not ability; it is desire, motivation, and information.
The purpose of Maine College Circle is to help more students make more of the opportunity of higher education, with a special focus on rural Maine communities. By providing equal access to information on the opportunity of education, particularly higher education, MeCC provides real world information, inspiration and energy to build aspirations.
“As a local, family owned business and one of the larger employers in the state of Maine, Dead River Company understands and values the importance of higher education,” said Wally Tapley, Market Manager for Dead River Company. “We value our most important resource: our children. Because we want them to have a bright future, we’re eager to support the work that Maine College Circle does, which is just outstanding. The inspiration they get from writing their essays and winning these $100 scholarships changes a child’s whole outlook on life.”
“We insist on community engagement,” Stuart added. “We promote community conversation about the opportunity of higher education, we help celebrate educational aspirations within the community, and we emphasize the value of effort and initiative in education to help make higher education an opportunity for all. And Dead River Company’s financial and personal support has been critical. As part of the community, their presence provides an example that I hope others will follow.”
In 2014, Dead River Company provided community and financial support for 280 of the 344 scholarships awarded to students in Aroostook, Hancock, Washington, Somerset, Penobscot, Kennebec, Oxford, Piscataquis, and Franklin.