CHERRYFIELD, ME – Downeast youth participating in EdGE Journey explore the outdoors and their communities to develop the tools needed to successfully transition to high school and through higher education and career pathways. Journey Program Manager Dakin Hewlett shared what’s coming up for the students’ cohorts, grades 7-12 as well as invites volunteers to serve as Adult Mentors.
Journey’s Winter Plans
This winter, students went bowling to strengthen personal relationships with one another. During winter break later this month, each cohort will go to the trampoline park in Bangor. This is a chance for cohorts to get outside, engage in some athletic activity, and of course, have fun together.
11th grade students will also participate in a series of three Healthy Acadia workshops focused on youth restorative justice practices in which individuals learn how to reestablish relationships with one another. Once students complete the workshops, we intend to provide space for them to teach what they have learned to younger cohorts. Also in March, 11th grade students will visit Husson University. They will tour the campus, learn about the school’s programs, and discover post-secondary opportunities.
Dakin adds, “Each Journey cohort participates in about two core meetings a month to further their group and individual goals, continue to build relationships with each other and staff, plan future trips, and develop leadership skills through hands-on activities. These core meetings will be the adult mentors’ most consistent monthly opportunity to engage the students.”
Cohort dinners at the Weald Bethel Community Center provide opportunities for the group to cook and share meals together, and strengthen and build community within Journey.
Calling Adult Mentors
The Mission currently seeks Adult Mentors to volunteer in the Journey program on the Cherryfield campus. Adult mentors help students build a positive, personal network amongst their peers and in the community. Adult role models also help Journey youth create the tools for a successful transition to high school, higher education, and careers.
Beginning in 7th grade, the EdGE Journey program provides Downeast students six years of mentoring with professional staff, community members, and older peers. While on local and distant adventures, Journey’s volunteer adults foster healthy relationships with students, helping them to grow and access opportunities sometimes unavailable to them. As role models, adults can demonstrate how to build life skills and establish a support network.
Interested in joining Journey? Adult Mentors show a willingness to learn, have good listening skills, and are open to cultural differences. They also exhibit patience, a sense of humor, and commitment.
Photos and story by Davis Maine Scholarship Director Christina Griffith.
NORTHEAST HARBOR, ME – The Mission’s first Davis Maine Scholar cohort just returned from a 660 mile, four-day road-trip to visit Wheaton College, Clark University, and University of New England in Massachusetts and Southern Maine. The cohort’s six scholars traveled with two mentors: Davis Maine Scholarship Director Christina Griffith, and Journey Program Director Dakin Hewlett.
Scholars enjoyed campus tours and information sessions, and time with admissions counselors learning about the application process. At lunch, college students shared stories of their studies and life on campus. Our cohort learned about support resources (i.e. academic tutoring, advising) and enjoyed conversation (and even a pizza dinner) with each college president.
From the peace of Peacock Pond on the Wheaton campus, to Clark’s extensive community service engagement in local neighborhoods, to UNE’s research and study abroad opportunities, our Scholars learned much and returned inspired. They represented well their families, schools, and Downeast communities. In the weeks ahead, Scholars will focus on completing their college applications with new focus and insight given their own lived experiences on each campus.
CHERRYFIELD, ME — Program Manager Dakin Hewlett and Program Coordinator Briana West shared this update about the Mission’s EdGE Journey six-year youth mentoring program. EdGE Journey, launched in 2017, is made possible by the Emanuel and Pauline A. Lerner Foundation and its mentoring-based initiative, Aspirations Incubator:
This past weekend, due to the pandemic, EdGE Journey students in Cohort 3 met as a group for the first time since they were selected into the program. The Narraguagus Jr/Sr High School soon-to-be 9th grade students eagerly awaited the opportunity to campout overnight at the Mission’s Weald Bethel Community Center in Cherryfield, and begin building stronger connections with their peers and Journey staff.
They kicked off the weekend by helping Mission staff unload 17,000 pounds of food for the food pantry. Later, the students supported each other during ropes course challenges, discussed their hopes and goals for the upcoming high school transition, shared laughs while swimming at Spring River, and enjoyed s’mores by the campfire.
The trip ended with the Cohort cooking an entire meal for a crowd of community members attending the Downeast Table of Plenty on Sunday evenings.
The Mission Journey staff would like to recognize the dedication, grit, and resiliency these youth leaders have shown over the past year. They look forward to more opportunities for exploration and the continued journey ahead!
Learn more about the EdGE Journey program by contacting Dakin Hewlett at firstname.lastname@example.org.