Inaugural Davis Maine Scholars Select Their Colleges

Inaugural Davis Maine Scholars Select Their Colleges

Maine Seacoast Mission is thrilled to announce the inaugural Davis Maine Scholarship receiving full, four-year scholarships have selected their colleges. Through the generosity of Andrew Davis and the Shelby Cullom Davis Charitable Fund these six students from Washington County and eastern Hancock County have earned the opportunity to pursue undergraduate studies with full, four-year scholarships at one of three partner colleges: Clark University (MA), University of New England (ME), and Wheaton College (MA).

Color photo of the inaugural scholars of the Davis Maine Scholarship program. The six young women sit on a golf cart and smile at the camera as they traverse a college campus during a school visit.

The Davis Maine Scholarship was created to ensure more students who are among the first from their families to attend college and are from rural Washington County and eastern Hancock County can pursue and complete undergraduate degrees untethered by financial burden. The Mission credits these students’ success to their perseverance, family support, guidance from high school mentors, and funding provided by Andrew Davis and The Shelby Cullom Davis Charitable Fund.

Mission President John Zavodny said, “Each one of these deserving young people have already had an inspiring educational journey. The Mission is proud to be a part of supporting them on the next important leg. Our partnership with Mr. Davis and the Fund is grounded by a shared belief in Downeast youth.” The inaugural Class of 2022 Davis Maine Scholars include:

Mya Abbott of Franklin, the daughter of Chris and April Abbott, completed her education at Sumner Memorial High School this spring.

Mya has enrolled at Wheaton College in Massachusetts for the 2022-2023 school year.

Lisett Anderson of Harrington is the daughter of Rachel Vincellette.

Lisett graduated Narraguagus Jr/Sr High School this past June and has enrolled at the University of New England to continue her studies.

Rachel Colby of Gouldsboro graduated from Sumner Memorial High School in June of this year.

She is the daughter of Jason and Laura Colby and has chosen to attend the University of New England this fall.

Emilee Hutchins of Winter Harbor. The daughter of Jeff and Tracey Hutchins, she graduated from Sumner Memorial High School in June.

She will attend the University of New England this fall alongside Mali Smith, Rachel Colby, and Lisett Anderson.

Ana Rosa Valencia Jungo of Sullivan is the daughter of Elio Valencia Guzman and Rosalba Jungo Zavala.

After graduating from Sumner Memorial High School this spring, she will attend Wheaton College in fall 2022.

Mali Smith of Columbia Falls, daughter of Jason and Kimberly Smith, graduated from Narraguagus Jr/Sr High School this June.

She will attend University of New England in the fall.

In addition to the extraordinary financial support they receive, Davis Maine scholars benefit from program guidance and opportunities to ensure their successful transition to college, persistence through college and completion of their undergraduate degrees in four years.

In celebrating the Scholars, Davis Maine Scholarship Director Christina Griffith said, “Ana, Mya, Lisett, Mali, Emilee, Rachel – your story is a muscle. Use it, tend it and it will carry you far and always safely home again. And as our first Davis Maine Scholars, know that your footsteps already matter for those coming up behind you. Your courage to persist toward your 2026 college graduation will unquestionably inspire their own.”

Maine Seacoast Mission congratulates its Class of 2022 high school graduates and Davis Maine Scholars, their families, and their communities. To learn more about the program as well as the incredible partnership between the Mission and the Shelby Collum Davis Fund, please visit the Davis Maine Scholarship web page.

C.F. Adams Charitable Trust funds Partnership with DCP

C.F. Adams Charitable Trust funds Partnership with DCP

Our Housing Rehab program is in full swing and has once again partnered with Downeast Community Partners (DCP) for the 2022 season. What is more exciting the recent boon of $75,000 gift our partnership received from the C.F. Adams Charitable Trust. Since 2015, DCP and the Mission, through their joint renovation and weatherization project, have improved and weatherized sixty homes in Downeast Maine. Support from the C.F. Adams Charitable Trust has underwritten the collaboration, attracting additional support from other funders. For the summer of 2022, DCP and the Mission have identified approximately fifteen homes in Washington County and the Schoodic Peninsula area to receive home repairs and/or weatherization.

Mission President John Zavodny shared, “This is an impactful and ongoing partnership between like-minded organizations. Both DCP and the Mission are dedicated to the comfort, safety, and well-being of the families in our community. Partnerships like this are often the best way to help. We are grateful to DCP, the C.F. Adams Charitable Trust, and others who support our Housing Rehabilitation program.”

DCP leverages funds from the U.S. Department of Energy and DHHS, under the auspices of the Maine Housing Weatherization Assistance Program. Homes in need of weatherization may be deferred if they need significant repairs such as a roof, wiring or plumbing. Mission volunteers make the needed improvements to each home so that DCP can then weatherize the dwelling.

The Mission’s Housing Rehabilitation Manager Scott Shaw, speaking on the need in the Downeast region, noted “our collaborative program enables Downeast families and seniors to stay in their homes and in their communities. Our volunteers provide labor, donations, and passion for working with homeowners.”

Maine’s housing stock is the eighth oldest in the nation, and the median home price in Washington County has increased to $165,000[1] in 2021, versus $120,000 in 2018. This rise means that many homes are unaffordable for most residents, with a county per capita income of $26,049[2]. The cost of building materials and supplies have also risen, posting an 18% increase in 2020 and a 15% increase in 2021[3]. “These metrics illustrate the importance of rehabilitating and weatherizing homes for our neighbors” states Rebecca Palmer, Executive Director for Downeast Community Partners. “Reducing energy expenditures and increasing the energy efficiency of dwellings is simultaneously an act of compassion for our community and our planet. We are grateful for our valued partners who join us in our mission to improve the quality of life in Downeast communities.”

“This gift enables us to continue to collaborate with Maine Seacoast Mission and thereby improve more homes than either agency could achieve separately,” says Dale Basher, Housing Services Operations Manager for DCP, “Our partnership, fostered by generous donations such as that of the C.F. Adams Charitable Trust, pairs community engagement with the latest science and technology in weatherization – it’s advantageous for everyone.”

To learn more about our community partner Downeast Community Partners, please explore their programming. DCP is committed to improving the quality of life and reducing the impact of poverty in Downeast communities.

Honorees of the 2022 Sunbeam Award Gala

Honorees of the 2022 Sunbeam Award Gala

The Mission’s signature event, the Sunbeam Award Gala, is right around the corner. Taking place on August 18 at the Bar Harbor Club, the Gala is the Mission’s annual opportunity to recognize those who embody the ideals of community. This summer, the Gala awardees were selected based on their extraordinary commitment to one of the Mission’s signature programs, EdGE. President John Zavodny has announced the two awardees for the 2022 Sunbeam Award Gala are Les Coleman and the Mission’s Downeast education partners.

An illustration of the Sunbeam against a lime green sunrise above a teal sea. The shadows of seagulls dot a light blue sky.
Request a reservation today online at the Gala’s event page or by contact Events & Marketing Coordinator Terri Rodick at (207) 801-6008 or [email protected].

President Zavodny shared, “This fall, EdGE celebrates 20 years of healthy, supportive, and challenging programs for children in public schools along the Downeast coast. Our Downeast school partners pour their hearts out every day for these children, and Les Coleman has been an EdGE leader and supporter since the idea was hatched. Their commitment has made the Downeast community stronger and we’re so excited to honor them at the 2022 Sunbeam Award Gala.”

2022 Sunbeam awardee Les Coleman is a longtime and committed advocate for education in Downeast Maine. An early proponent of the EdGE program, he helped forge strong connections between partners for the benefit of Downeast youth. During his tenure on the Board of Trustees from 2006 to 2018, he lent his expertise and wisdom to the Maine Seacoast Mission. Les and his wife Joyce live in Dallas, Texas and Addison, Maine. 

For two decades, K-12 schools in Washington and Hancock Counties have partnered with the Mission to offer students and their families afterschool, summer, and in-school opportunities. These 2022 Sunbeam award recipients are a linchpin to Mission education programming. They have grown the number of Downeast students who challenge themselves, engage with their communities, explore the outdoors, and gain social and leadership skills to build personal, career, and educational aspirations.

Schools receiving the Sunbeam Award include Beals Elementary, Cherryfield Elementary, D.W. Merritt Elementary, Harrington Elementary, Jonesport Elementary, Milbridge Elementary, Rose M. Gaffney Elementary, Narraguagus Jr/Sr High School, and Sumner Memorial High School.

Past Sunbeam Award Gala Recipients include:

  • 2021 – Acadia Senior College & Sigma Kappa
  • 2019 – Bryan Colket and the Sunbeam “All Hands on Deck” Committee & Dr. Diehl Snyder, MDI Hospital Behavioral Health Center
  • 2018 – Marjorie Withers & Maine Community Foundation
  • 2017 – Robin Alden & Earl Brechlin and Alan Baker, The Mount Desert Islander
  • 2016 – Edward R. Flanagan & Cookie Horner and Jack Russell
  • 2015 – Joseph M. Murphy & Todd West
  • 2014 – Senator George J. Mitchell
  • 2013 – Charlie Harrington
  • 2012 – Ashley Bryan
  • 2011 – Edith R. Dixon & Ralph W. Stanley
  • 2010 – Emily A. Sabah-Maren & Gary DeLong
  • 2009 – Curtis L. Blake & Marianne Barnicle
  • 2008 – Charlotte Bordeaux & Dr. Richard Dimond
  • 2007 – James Gower & Henry Harris
  • 2006 – Cornelia Greaves Bates & Alf Wakeman
  • 2005 – Ruth and Tristram Colket & Myron Sprague
  • 2004 – Jill Goldthwait & Fritz Dixon

To request a reservation for the 2022 Sunbeam Award Gala, please do so online at the Gala’s event page. Events and Marketing Coordinator Terri Rodick can be reached at (207) 801-6008 or [email protected] to help with requests as well as answer questions. Due to the pandemic, attendees are asked to be vaccinated, seating is limited, and the event is outdoors under a tent. To learn more about EdGE programming, please visit the EdGE page

Journey’s 2022 Summer Excursions

Journey’s 2022 Summer Excursions

The Mission’s Journey program is set to explore Maine with an adventurous set of summer excursions. A youth mentoring program aimed to support student college and career aspirations, Journey has six cohorts of 7th to 12th graders. Journey provides individual and family support, outdoor excursions, leadership, and experiences. Also, it gives access to professionals and community mentors, college and career exploration, preparation workshops, and help applying for scholarships.

The goal is to help them develop tools to succeed in transitioning to high school, higher education, or a career. “Career and college readiness are our two main focuses,” said Journey Program Manager Dakin Hewlett. “We work with our partner schools to recruit students into the program. The schools’ partnership and support is important to our success.” Students hail from Narraguagus Jr./Sr. High School and Cherryfield Elementary students explore the outdoors and their communities.

Ultimately, the student gets to decide to apply for Journey or not. Completing our application begins a Journey conversation with students and caregivers. Conversations, in turn, help families make informed decisions about joining us,” Dakin explained. In 2021, Journey engaged 43 students from 7th to 11th grade and conducted 557 hours of programming. In 2022, a new batch of 7th graders formed cohort 6.

“It’s not a small journey,” she continued. “It is a six-year commitment to start with us in 7th grade and stick with us through 12th grade. That is dedication. And it is another reason communicating with Journey families and schools is so important,” she said.

To help motive students to take part during the program, Journey cohort experiences are designed around student school academics and extracurricular activities. For example, these activities include cohort meetings, field trips, and overnight excursions. 

Throughout a student’s six years, said Dakin, Journey staff “have individual check-ins with students, talks with student caregivers, support their individual and family needs, and help connect them with community resources.”

“We do outdoor excursions, field trips, and diverse activities is to provide opportunities for students to explore interests and envision potential future pathways,” Dakin explained.  For 2022, overnight excursions for 7th through 11th Journey students include:

7th Grade – Three days in June at Acadia National Park. 
8th Grade – Four days in July on Swan’s Island.
9th Grade – Four days in August at Baxter State Park. 
10th Grade – Four days in July around the Portland region. 
11th Grade – Visit college campus throughout the year. 

Finally, each summer the Journey cohorts cap the year with a celebratory excursion. Dakin related, “You never know what’s going to ignite that spark. Maybe an outdoor hike, or walking through a museum. It might happen while camping out at the Community Center, creating art, or doing a community service project.”

To learn more, explore the Mission’s Journey web page.

Mission COVID-19 Booster Clinics a Success

Mission COVID-19 Booster Clinics a Success

Sharon Daley stands with island volunteers and the Mission’s Vaccination team on Swan’s Island. (Photo by Douglas Cornman)

NORTHEAST HARBOR, ME – Through Facebook, phone calls, and word of mouth, Sharon Daley, RN, notified island communities of the Mission’s recent island COVID-19 booster vaccination clinics. As the Mission’s Director of Island Health, she focused efforts on residents age 50-plus as well as residents with suppressed immune systems.

Between handling the vaccine and navigating the course to Maine’s outer islands, the planning of such clinics requires excellent organization and perfect timing. Sharon explained the demanding schedule, Sharon detailed, “Monday, April 18, I drove to the MDI Hospital pharmacy, picked up the vaccine, then transferred it immediately to the Sunbeam‘s medical refrigerator.” 

Because of the Sunbeam‘s size, there are places around Great Cranberry Isles it can’t navigate. “Tuesday morning, Island Outreach Director Douglas Cornman, Maureen Giffin, RN, and I caught the mail boat to Islesford,” Sharon said.

Sunbeam Capt. Mike Johnson and Engineer Storey King then used the skiff to transport Sharon, Maureen, and Douglas to Great Cranberry from Islesford.

“We did the vaccine clinic on Great Cranberry, and returned to the Sunbeam. We then traveled to Frenchboro to administer vaccines,” continued Sharon. From Frenchboro, the Mission clinic crew hosted two clinics on Isle au Haut. “From there,” said Sharon, “we traveled to Matinicus.” 

Island hopping didn’t cease there. On Thursday, April 21, the Sunbeam and crew returned to Northeast Harbor and Sharon stayed on the boat. The next day she drove the vaccine two hours to Pen Bay Hospital’s medical refrigerator in Rockport. That was in preparation for a Monday, April 25 trip to Monhegan Island with Administrative Assistant Margaret Snell, and Nurse Practitioner Peggy Akers. Aiming to catch the mail boat at Port Clyde to go to Monhegan Island, Sharon and her team had just 30 minutes to travel there from Pen Bay Hospital. “They held the mail boat for us.”

In one final push, Sharon, Margaret, and Peggy returned to Northeast Harbor where they spent the night aboard the Sunbeam. The next morning, they caught the ferry for the final booster clinic on Swan’s Island.

For an initiative as vital and time-sensitive as Covid-19 boosters and vaccinations, island communities sprang into action to assist the Mission in providing the clinics. Starting in 2020, island communities and island health workers were concerned about the virus infecting and spreading across the islands. In 2021 alone, the Mission:

  • Administered 928 Covid-19 vaccinations and boosters
  • Conducted 28 visits in four months
  • Visited seven islands including Great Cranberry, Islesford, Frenchboro, Monhegan, Matinicus, Swans’ Island, and Isle au Haut
  • At least 10 media outlets covered the 2021 vaccination effort

In 2022, the second round of booster clinics are for individuals over 50 occurred on the same seven islands. Small geographically and in population, each island’s inhabitants depend on one another and form tight communities. “Because there are so many people on the islands in the summer,” Sharon explained. “People want to be as protected as they can be.”

To earn more about Sharon Daley’s work, visit the Island Health web page.