Each year, Aroostook Aspirations Initiative awards scholarships to graduating seniors at each of the 16 Aroostook County high schools. Administered by Maine Community Foundation, the scholarship fund is supported through a founding endowment and directed donations. The Scholars have access to college readiness, entrepreneurial trainings, internships, and networking opportunities to ensure they have the funding and support they need to succeed in school and their career.
-Benefits of Being a Scholar
Gauvin Scholars attend two retreats designed to help them succeed both in college and in the workforce. LAUNCH is designed to help the first year Scholars become familiar with the college environment, building self-confidence and goal-oriented enthusiasm as they embark on a college education and discuss the challenges, the excitement, the opportunities, as well as the stresses of college. Second year Scholars attend ADVANCE, giving them the opportunity to develop skills that advance professional opportunities: leadership, resume building, and interviewing. Aroostook County business and community leaders host components of the weekend and provide a networking opportunity for students.
The Entrepreneurial Weekend is open to Gauvin Scholars and community members that are interested in gaining leadership skills or developing their own business. Local entrepreneurs, business leaders, economic development agencies, and other experts in this field will provide instruction and assistance in topics such as: developing business plans, budgeting, goal setting, marketing and social media.
AAI has established Community Action Teams (CATs) in several communities of Aroostook County. Each CAT is made up of students as well as representatives from the community, businesses and the schools. The teams are focused on finding ways to get young people more invested in their communities. Areas of priorities include youth-centered events and community service efforts.
The County Service Challenge is a County-wide community service event. All parts of community will come together to complete local service projects. The goal of the County service challenge is to build community engagement in our youth, community members, business leaders, and civic sectors.
The annual Night with the Stars gala celebrates the Gauvin Scholars and recognizes our supporters. Aroostook Aspirations Initiative presents three awards during the event: Innovative Educator, Mentor of the Year, Business of the Year.
Scholars also receive programming that includes ongoing mentoring and professional/personal development activities.
Ray and Sandy Gauvin have established an endowed scholarship fund to support one graduating senior from every high school in Aroostook County in their efforts to attend college. This remarkable gift reflects their values and their belief that higher education is the gateway to a promising future. This effort represents the best of Maine and challenges all of us to try and make a difference in the lives of others.