Mission Awards $224,500 in 2024-2025 Mission Scholarships

Mission Awards $224,500 in 2024-2025 Mission Scholarships

A group of young people standing on the bow of a boat, they are looking up and smiling for the camera

The Mission is pleased to announce the 30 new Mission Scholarship award recipients from Hancock and Washington Counties. Representing nine high schools in the Mission’s service area, the newest Mission Scholars include:  

  • Lacey Bailey, Bucksport High School 
  • Leah Beal, Jonesport-Beals High School 
  • Asa Berry, Sumner Memorial High School 
  • Jessika Bridges, Sumner Memorial High School 
  • Matthew Carney, Sumner Memorial High School 
  • Jolie Deal, Mount Desert Island High School 
  • Riley Donahue, Mount Desert Island High School 
  • Ada Fisher, Sumner Memorial High School 
  • Owen Frank, Ellsworth High School  
  • Gabriel Hanscom, Narraguagus Jr/Sr High School  
  • Noah Hart, Calais High School 
  • Brady Hutchins, George Stevens Academy 
  • Chloe Look, Narraguagus Jr/Sr High School 
  • Thea McKechnie, George Stevens Academy 
  • Finn Merritt, Narraguagus Jr/Sr High School 
  • Makenna Moore, Washington Academy  
  • Trinity Morris, Narraguagus Jr/Sr High School 
  • Autumn Peterson, Narraguagus Jr/Sr High School 
  • Elizabeth Pileski, Ellsworth High School  
  • Sig Reinholdt, Mount Desert Island High School 
  • Hazel Sheahan, George Stevens Academy 
  • Zoe Sikkel, Bucksport High School 
  • Emma Simard, Mount Desert Island High School 
  • Nyah Smith, Narraguagus Jr/Sr High School 
  • Mackenzie Urban, Jonesport-Beals High School 
  • Denali Wagstaff, Mount Desert Island High School 
  • Evan Weightman, Washington Academy  
  • Liberty White, Narraguagus Jr/Sr High School 
  • Coleton Whitney, Washington Academy  
  • Elle Yarborough, Mount Desert Island High School 

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This year’s Scholars plan to study biology, nursing, social work, psychology, and engineering among other areas. The post-secondary education and career landscape focus on many ways to achieve higher education and workforce readiness. These awards fulfill the intent of the Mission’s Scholarships’ annual support for individuals entering trade, technical, two and four-year colleges. 

These Mission Scholars join an existing 62 Scholars who renewed their applications for the coming academic year. For the 2024-2025 school year, $224,500 will be awarded to 92 college students. The program’s humble beginnings commenced in 1911. Since 2000, the Mission has awarded more than $2.6 million in scholarships to support the college and career aspirations of youth and adults in Washington and Hancock counties and outer islands.  

Scholars were chosen not only for their academic achievements, but also because of the students’ commitments to their communities, perseverance, and future aspirations. “This year’s Mission Scholars are a diverse group of students who are leaders in their communities and beyond,” says the Mission’s EdGE Secondary and Post-Secondary Program Director Christy Oliveri. “We are proud to help them achieve their educational and career goals and look forward to following their college journey over the next four years.” 

Mission Scholarships typically range in amount from $6,000 to $14,000 dispersed over four years, the period normally expected to complete a degree or certificate program. With approximately 30 new scholars each year, the Mission typically has nearly 100 active scholars in any given year. In 2023, 99% of Scholars continued their award and returned to school for an additional year of study. 72% of Scholars study at a campus in Maine, 46% at a University of Maine or a community college campus. 

This year’s new Scholars are enrolled at Husson University, University of Maine, Connecticut College, Rensselaer Polytechnic, Wentworth Institute of Technology, University of Minnesota, Dartmouth College, University of Southern Maine, Bowdoin College, Wheaton College, Southern Maine Community College, Alfred University, Bennington College, University of North Carolina, Endicott College, Smith College, New York University, Central Maine Community College, Villanova University, and Southern New Hampshire University. 

In addition to Mission Scholarships, Maine Seacoast Mission proudly partners with the Shelby Cullom Davis Charitable Fund to offer the transformative Davis Maine Scholarship. In its fourth year of supporting students, the Davis Maine Scholarship supports fully funded, four-year scholarships to select students each year. Davis Maine Scholars attend one of three partner schools, Clark University, University of New England, or Wheaton College.  

Turning the Tide Together this Spring  

Turning the Tide Together this Spring  

The Spring 2024 issue of The Bulletin, which is on its way to mailboxes, focuses on the Mission’s partners and how leaning into these partnerships will help create thriving communities. This issue builds on last Fall’s issue of The Bulletin which shared how the communities the Mission serves voiced their hopes and fears about the future in 17 listening sessions. Following these sessions, the Mission began reflecting about how they can continue to show up. In his opening letter, Mission President John Zavodny writes, “The way forward is a reaffirmation of the Mission’s first principles: trust, compassion, and working together. 

The main story in this issue of The Bulletin expands on these ideas and how the Mission is committed to creating thriving communities through partnerships. Throughout the piece, John shares the key concepts of this work: community, partnership and thriving and how the Mission is defining these words. The story also features examples of the partnerships the Mission has that are already supporting communities.  

The cover of "The Bulletin" Spring 2024 that reads "Turning the Tide Together" with a photo of a person with a trash bag walking on a beach.

Your gift to the Maine Seacoast Mission makes you part of all we do.

Elsewhere in The Bulletin, we share more of our impact and the work we are doing with our partner organizations. One story highlights how volunteers from Island Institute and community members have helped the Mission with clean-up after two devastating storms in January. There are also stories about partnerships with the MDI Biological Laboratory and Sunrise County Economic Council. 

To view the digital version of The Bulletin Spring 2024 issue, please visit our Publications page.  

Register for the 20th Annual EdGE Tennis Tournament

Register for the 20th Annual EdGE Tennis Tournament

The Mission welcomes teams and individual players to compete in the 20th EDGE Tennis Tournament on Saturday, September 7 at the Northeast Harbor Tennis Club. The Tournament benefits EdGE, the Mission’s signature education program.  

Taking place from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., the Tournament is composed of men’s doubles and women’s doubles playing at advanced and intermediate levels with eight-player teams competing throughout the day. Breakfast and lunch will be provided for all registered players. Players can register as a team of eight players or as an individual. An organization, business, or person can also sponsor a team or individual. Single player participants will be assigned to a team by the Tournament directors.

Your gift to the Maine Seacoast Mission makes you part of all we do.

“I’ve been fortunate to be part of this Tournament as both a player and volunteer director for more than a decade,” says Jaime Weir, general manager of John Williams Boat Company and Mission board member. “Each event brings the tennis community together for a great day of fun and competition, all to benefit the kids of the EdGE program.”

Registration for a team of eight is $1,400 and single player registration is $50. An organization, business, or person can also sponsor a team and the committee will assign single player participants. Interested players can contact Development Operations Associate Devin Mack at [email protected] or (207) 801-6010 to register.

Proceeds from the Tournament fund EdGE. The program offers collaborative and innovative afterschool, summer, in-school, and leadership activities to children in seven schools located along Washington County’s Downeast coast. EdGE provides students opportunities to expand their knowledge and experiences through academic and social support, and peer mentoring. Students challenge themselves, engage with their communities, explore the outdoors, and gain social and leadership skills to build personal, career, and post-secondary education aspirations. 

“In EdGE, students can participate in afterschool, summer camp, and in-school programming,” says EdGE Primary Program Director Isaac Marnik, “Since 2002, EdGE has provided new opportunities for children to discover new things and identify their interests.”

The Mission would like to thank its Corporate Sponsors and Corporate Donors for continued support. This year’s supporters include Platinum Sponsors Bar Harbor Bank & Trust and Wyman’s of Maine; Bronze Sponsors First National Bank and Goldman Sachs with Maggie Keohan; Copper Sponsors Machias Savings Bank and Acadia Bike & Coastal Kayaking Tours; and Corporate Donor Front Street Shipyard 

Come Aboard to Learn more about the Mission 

Come Aboard to Learn more about the Mission 

A photo of the Sunbeam, which is a large boat in the middle of the ocean with trees in the background

From June to August, the Mission’s 74-foot flagship vessel Sunbeam will host open houses in various ports along coastal Maine. Visitors are invited to tour Sunbeam and learn more about the Mission’s work in coastal Washington County and on outer, unbridged islands. 

The first open house of the season is on Tuesday, June 11 from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. at Sunbeam’s home port in Northeast Harbor. During the tour, visitors can see the inner workings of a vessel which welcomes more than 1,000 people aboard each year for basic healthcare, meals, community gatherings, and more.  

Your gift to the Maine Seacoast Mission makes you part of all we do.

Sunbeam Open Houses are scheduled for: 

  • Sunday, June 30 from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. with the Wilson Museum at the Castine Town Dock
  • Saturday, July 27 from 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at Brown’s Wharf in Boothbay Harbor 
  • Thursday, August 29 from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. in Northeast Harbor 

Mission President John Zavodny says “We’re excited to welcome the public aboard Sunbeam to learn more about outer islands and the difference our programs make in our communities. It’s particularly special to open the boat in her home port of Northeast Harbor, and to visit friends in southern Maine communities.” 

Mission programming via Sunbeam regularly provides support through counseling, education initiatives, and education services. In addition, a full-time nurse offers flu and Covid vaccination clinics, leads a network of eldercare facilities, provides healthcare check-ups, and connects residents to mainland specialists. Islands served include Chebeague, Cliff Island, Frenchboro, Great Cranberry, Great Diamond, Isle au Haut, Islesboro, Islesford, Long Island, Matinicus, Monhegan, North Haven, Peaks, and Swan’s. 

Sunbeam Open Houses are open to the public. For inquiries, please contact [email protected] or call (207) 801-6008. 

Reserve Your Seat for the Sunbeam Award Gala

Reserve Your Seat for the Sunbeam Award Gala


Join the Mission at the 2024 Sunbeam Award Gala to honor the Diana Davis Spencer Foundation and Island Institute on Thursday, August 15 at the Bar Harbor Club in Bar Harbor, Maine. Reservations are now open for individual tables and full tables. 

This year’s awardees were chosen for their commitment to strengthening both island and Downeast communities through their longtime partnership with the Mission. “In a year where we are celebrating and deepening our partnerships, we are thrilled to honor two organizations who have been dedicated to Mission communities for years,” says Mission President John Zavodny. “Their long-standing support and trust in the Mission are essential in providing continued support to communities where it is most needed.”  

Your gift to the Maine Seacoast Mission makes you part of all we do.

The Diana Davis Spencer Foundation is a committed philanthropic partner with deep ties to Maine. Diana Davis Spencer, a journalist and activist, guides her organization’s grantmaking efforts. Her daughter, Abby Spencer Moffat, a former business leader and entrepreneur, leads the Foundation as Chief Executive Officer and President. 

Island Institute will be honored for its enduring role as a community partner. For 40 years, the Institute has been committed to working with island and coastal communities in marine economy, sustainability, and community. 

The Mission would like to thank its Corporate Sponsors and Corporate Donors for continued support. This year’s supporters include Bronze Sponsor First National Bank; Copper Sponsors Machias Savings Bank and Acadia Bike & Coastal Kayaking Tours; and Corporate Donor Front Street Shipyard 

To make a reservation on our website or contact Development Operations Associate Devin Mack at (207) 801-6010 or by email at [email protected]. 

A Time to Get Together for Islanders

A Time to Get Together for Islanders

Following the sound of shrieks, cheers, and laughter at Schoodic Institute in early May, you will see a familiar scene playing out in front of you. Some kids are engaging in an enthusiastic game of soccer, sprinting from one end of a basketball court to the other. On the sidelines other kids sit in small clusters chatting, while a few feet away another group is turning a bike rack into their own jungle gym. It is a normal scene at most schools, but for these kids it is not a common experience. All of these students attend one-to-two-room schoolhouses on outer, unbridged islands, with the largest school having less than 15 students and the smallest, just one student.  

Your gift to the Maine Seacoast Mission makes you part of all we do.

The students are at Schoodic, as well as their parents and teachers, as part of a field trip put on by Outer Islands Teaching & Learning Collaborative (TLC) and Island Institute. The TLC includes six Maine schools, Ashley Bryan School (Great Cranberry and Islesford), Cliff Island School, Chebeague Island School, Frenchboro School, Isle au Haut School, and Monhegan School.

he group holds two field trips each year, one in the fall and another in the spring. It also brings students and teachers together virtually for classes including one with the Mission’s Director of Island Services Douglas Cornman, and other activities. Marcella Carroll, the teacher on Isle au Haut, explains “We have book groups and make an effort to have our students come together. It is a space where we can join each other so by the time we are together in person for field trips, it is very natural.”  

This year’s spring field trip was to the Schoodic Institute, where students played, met author Alex Hinrichs (through Island Readers & Writers), practiced photojournalism, and explored the natural world with Acadia National Park Rangers. Students split up into groups based on their grades and got to spend time with students their own age, something that may not happen in their schools. One day, Pre-K and first graders did Junior Rangers activities, while students in second through fourth grades learned more about soil, and older students did an invasive crab survey.  

The three days are filled with educational activities and plenty of time for play. By watching students play together and work on projects, the social and educational support TLC offers is clear to see. Cliff Island teacher Jenny Baum, who has been an island teacher for eight years, says “Without this collaboration we would just be one-room schoolhouses out there in the middle of the ocean on our own. This gives us the opportunity to interact with other teachers and students.” The teachers meet virtually every week with Mission and Island Institute staff to collaborate but also get advice from one another, which Jenny says is her source of support and connection to people beyond her island.  

This field trip has also been a way for the teachers to get together as well, and they spend the breaks between activities chatting on the sidelines with each other and parents as they watch kids play. It looks like any other day at most schools, but for everyone here, these small moments are a rare and exciting opportunity.  

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