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Higher Education Institutions Recommit to Aroostook Aspirations Initiative

| January 13, 2014

AROOSTOOKASPIRATIONSWEB from WAGM-TV on Vimeo.

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Its been a year since Aroostook Aspirations launched to tackle the issue of youth outmigration and a struggling county workforce as a result of it. Since their launch…many schools, county businesses and economic development groups have jumped on board the initiative’s bandwagon. Now a new announcement that will help further their cause. County high school students are totally unaware that right next door on UMFK’s campus, lay the ROAD TO SUCCESS and many of their educational futures. As all four higher education institutions in the county, UMFK, UMPI, NMCC and Husson University have reaffirmed an important commitment to the Aroostook Aspirations Initiative and thus young minds and talents like these. Sandy Gauvin is the President of the Aroostook Aspirations Initiatives and says “Four colleges in aroostook county have stepped forward of their own accord and they have agreed to give the equivalent of a thousand dollars scholarship for the second year of college for our Gauvin scholars.” Alson onhand for the announcement was Wilson Hess the President of UMFK who added “The opportunity to have a locally based fund that’s going to help students stay in Aroostook County to pursue their higher education opportunities is so vitally important not just to the lives of our students but the economic development of Aroostook County.” And that concern, or rather fear of youth outmigration is why the Gauvins launched Aroostook Aspirations a year ago. Since then, they say a number of schools, businesses, state government agencies and economic development entities have signed on to help keep young people educated and employed in Maine. April Flagg is the new Executive Director of the Aroostook Aspirations Initiative and commented “We need the support of our local colleges, our schools, our businesses, the community, this is gonna have to be a team effort this isn’t my problem or your problem its our problem.” “This is definitely giving a segment of our population who are on the end of maybe I won’t attend college or maybe I will and these are the kids that hopefully will get a chance to go to college, get an education stay right here in Aroostook County and add to our workforce,” says Tim Doak the President of the Aroostook County Superintendent’s Association. Hess added “Initiatives like this help to make the glass maybe two thirds or three quarters full but we need more initiatives like this and more opportunities to keep our students here in the county and have resources for them to fill that glass to the brim.” And as long as Aroostook Aspirations keeps BRIMMING with ideas and nonstop support from throughout Maine….students can not only make the grade, but graduate onto successful futures in the county or anything they ASPIRE TO.

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