The Star-Herald

Aroostook Aspirations names 2019 Gauvin Scholars

PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — Aroostook Aspirations Initiative has announced the newest additions to its scholarship program: the 2019 Gauvin Scholars.  

“This year we have selected another great group of scholars for our programs.  They are hard-working young people with strong determination to get a college education and work in the county in a variety of careers.  We are very proud of them,” said founder and president of the Board, Sandy Gauvin.  

The nonprofit organization has selected 15 Aroostook County high school seniors to receive a $1,000 scholarship from AAI to aid in their first year of college. Gauvin Scholars also receive a $1,000 scholarship, matched by their Aroostook County college, to go toward their second academic year.

In order to qualify as a Gauvin Scholar, students must attend one of the four colleges in Aroostook County as a full-time student, have a desire to live and work in Aroostook County after completing their secondary education and demonstrate financial need. AAI also gives preference to students who are first-generation college students, meaning that they are the first member of their immediate family to attend college.

A volunteer board of 16 scholarship committee members scored and selected this year’s applications. The board included professionals, educators, business and community members. Many local and state businesses have committed to supporting Aroostook Aspirations Initiative for five years.

The complete list of 2019 Gauvin Scholars is as follows:

The scholars who are planning to attend the University of Maine at Fort Kent include: Mykayla Bresett of Van Buren High School; Abigail Dionne of Easton High School; Dylan Jurson of Hodgdon High School; Jordan Labbe of Fort Kent High School; and Benjamin Ruest of Madawaska High School.

Scholars with plans to attend the University of Maine at Presque Isle include: Elizabeth Collins of Presque Isle High School; Kayla Creasey of Washburn High School; Karoline Dillenbeck of Caribou High School; Kassandra Farley of Washburn High School; Grady McKeough of Caribou High School; Kassandra Nelson of Ashland District High School; Kylie Vining of Southern Aroostook Community School; and Samantha White of Washburn High School.

Scholars planning to attend Northern Maine Community College include: Johnathan Hardy of Southern Aroostook Community School and Kelsey Sewel of Houlton High School. 

All of the new scholars had the chance to meet at the AAI’s Scholar Success Program in June. During the two-day LAUNCH event, Scholars attend trainings to prepare them for college.  In 2020, this year’s Scholars will attend the ADVANCE program which will assist them in preparation for the joining Aroostook County’s workforce.

For more information about Aroostook Aspirations Initiative and the 2019 Gauvin Scholars, visit or contact Program Coordinator Rachael McDivitt at 207-768-9418 or  

Donations to support Gauvin Scholar programming may be made online or mailed to Aroostook Aspirations Initiative, 26 North St. Box 138, Presque Isle, ME 04769.

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