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Hundreds of students attend JMG/TRIO event at UMFK

FORT KENT, Maine —  Approximately 300 Aroostook County high school students gathered at the University of Maine at Fort Kent Sport Center on Friday for a JMG/TRIO event where they learned about some of the post-secondary educational and career paths available to them. 

The sophomores, juniors and seniors who participated in the event attend Fort Fairfield High School, Caribou High School, Presque Isle High School, Fort Kent Community High School and the St. John Valley Technology Center. 

Susan Dubay of JMG, Nikolas Lallemand of TRIO student support services and Rene Gorneault of TRIO upward bound organized the event.

The university’s Interim President Tex Boggs and admissions specialist Davis Cyr were among many administrators and staff who met with the students to answer questions about college life. 

Izabella Coniglio, a 16-year-old junior from Presque Isle High School, told Boggs and Cyr that she plans to become a diesel mechanic and will study this subject when she attends the Caribou Tech Center next year. 

Coniglio said she is determined to achieve her goal.

 “I just want to learn, you know. I don’t just go to class for the fun of it. I go to class to learn,” she said.

“You’re on the right path,” Boggs said. 

Consiglio said that she plans to attend Northern Maine Community College after graduating from high school and admitted that the thought of moving into her own apartment and attending college can be intimidating. 

“It’s scary. I’m not so ready to graduate high school — it’s kind of my daily routine,” she said. 

“You have a good plan which is a good thing,” Cyr said. “I would encourage you to get involved as much as you can while you are there. Spend some time with other students while you’re there — engage with other students and be social.”

Many representatives of Maine businesses also spoke with students at the event. 

Irving representative Doug Cyr provided students with information about general career preparedness and provided them with perspectives of what an employer looks for in an employee. 

Fort Fairfield sophomore Hailey Tinkam said she plans to follow in the footsteps of her grandfather and brother and join the United States Marine Corps, where she hopes to learn automotive technology.

“I’ve always wanted to be a mechanic,” Tinkham said. 

“Trades are on the uptick and there is a lot of opportunity to have your own business,” Doug Cyr said. “Trades are underrated. Some of the most successful classmates of mine went for a two-year plumbing degree and now run their own plumbing businesses.” 

The students also learned about different college majors available at the university including criminal justice, forestry, nursing and behavioral science.

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