The Star-Herald

Aroostook Aspirations Initiative returns to support County youth

PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — Having taken a hiatus last year, Aroostook Aspirations Initiative (AAI) will again offer a $1,000 scholarship, renewable for a second year, to a student from each of the high schools in Aroostook County.

Although preference will be given to first-generation college students, any students who plan to attend one of the colleges in Aroostook County are welcome to apply.  If a student is applying to a college outside of the county that offers a program not offered here, it is still possible to get a scholarship.

“When our students succeed, we all succeed,” stated Sandy Gauvin, AAI board president. “The college completion rate of those who are chosen as our scholars is approximately 95 percent, much greater than that of the colleges in the Maine Community College and University of Maine Systems.”

Launched in 2013, Aroostook Aspirations Initiative is dedicated to the education, inspiration and leadership of the future generations of Aroostook County youth, especially students who are at risk for completing a college education.

“The scholarship itself is just a ‘gateway’ into a well-planned program created to help our young people attain postsecondary and career success,” Gauvin said. “Receiving this award will allow Gauvin Scholars to participate in our annual Scholar Success Program, designed to help them navigate the sometimes turbulent waters of college life and offer assistance in transitioning into fulfilling careers after graduation.”

As part of the AAI scholar program, students also have access to entrepreneurial and leadership training, networking opportunities with area leaders, internship opportunities and access to community service.  

Stephanie Redman, 2015 Gauvin Scholar, added, “Being a Gauvin scholar is more than gaining a scholarship, it’s gaining a family.”

“With it you get the chance to make connections with the community. You make new friends during the weekend events and AAI is there to help with many questions that you may face during college,” said Stacy Landry, 2015 Gauvin Scholar.

To Kerrigan Arnett, 2015 Gauvin Scholar, the experience allows a young person in The County the opportunity “to receive access to the many resources and contacts available to you through Aroostook Aspirations along with financial assistance in going to college.”

“It’s a great opportunity to be involved with Aroostook County, meet new people and to have everyone around you be so supportive of the things you do,” stated Courtney Milliard, 2015 Gauvin Scholar.

Applications for the scholarships are currently online and will close on April 30.  For more information, visit www.gauvinfund.org.

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