The Aroostook Aspirations Initiative (AAI) has announced Kristen Wells as the choice for advancement director.
Wells is an alumnus of Hodgdon High School. She received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Southern Maine and her master’s certification in arts administration from Boston University. She has an impressive record in the public relations and the fundraising world. Wells served as director of development at Catholic Charities for several years, but more recently was managing director for the Houlton Community Arts Center and social media director at WHOU 100.1 FM.
Wells expressed her enthusiasm for this new position, saying, “I am very excited to be back home and involved with Aroostook Aspirations Initiative. The work AAI has built is an investment in students and the future of Aroostook County. I’m looking forward to utilizing my deep roots here in northern Maine and my experience in development to strengthen AAI. In doing so, we will build opportunities for our young people.”
“Bringing Kristen in to AAI in the area of development is the fulfillment of a promise made to our sustaining partners over the last year,” said Sandy Gauvin, president of AAI. “The future of this program will rely on business partnerships coupled with the kind of professionalism, relationship development, and fundraising experience that Kristen offers. We are very pleased with her selection.”
April Flagg, executive director, sees this position as one that can advance the number of Gauvin Scholars that AAI can serve.
“For each young person we support, we are growing a local success story,” Flagg said. “We are taking steps to reverse outward migration and to ensure that more of our youth fulfill their potential right here in the County. These college graduates represent the future workforce, the future community and business leaders, and the future civic club members who will strengthen our shared future. We are working with businesses, our postsecondary partners, and the public school districts to help students see the opportunity that lives right here in Aroostook County. Gauvin Scholars who are learning today are the businessmen and women leading tomorrow. Kristen fulfills a critical role in the growth of the Gauvin Scholarship Program. The larger our endowment, the more Gauvin Scholars we will be able to select, and the more County young people we can help. We feel so fortunate to have Kristen on board leading our advancement department.”
Ray and Sandy Gauvin founded Aroostook Aspirations Initiative in 2013 with an initial endowment of $400,000. Celebrating its second anniversary in mid-April, Aroostook Aspirations Initiative welcomed its first class of Gauvin Scholars in May 2014. Annual scholarships are awarded to one graduating senior in every Aroostook County High School. Recipients receive mentoring, guidance, and support throughout their college experience, and participate in weekend retreats, attend a formal celebratory gala, and serve as key volunteers in Heidi’s Hope, an AAI community service day that also raises money for the scholarship endowment.
AAI has a 24-member board of directors that represents each region of Aroostook County, maintains partners with all 16 Aroostook public school districts, Northern Maine Community College, the University of Maine at Presque Isle, Husson University and the University of Maine at Fort Kent.
Wells resides in Hodgdon with her husband, David and their four children, having returned to the County in 2012 to settle on their family’s farm.
To learn more about this innovative program, visit www.gauvinfund.org, like them on Facebook, follow them on Twitter AAI/GauvinFund or e-mail them at firstname.lastname@example.org. Donations can be made online, in person at AAI, 754 Main Street Presque Isle, or by mail: 26 North Street Box 138, Presque Isle, ME 04769.