NORTHEAST HARBOR — Six Downeast high school juniors recently learned that they were selected as the first Davis Maine Scholars.
The students, all first-generation college bound, will each receive a full scholarship to one of three Davis Maine Scholarship partner private liberal arts colleges: Maine’s University of New England, and Clark University and Wheaton College in Massachusetts.
Andrew Davis, director of the Shelby Cullom Davis Charitable Fund, in collaboration with Maine Seacoast Mission and the Davis Maine Scholarship partner colleges, created this scholarship program to ensure that more first-generation college students from rural Washington County and eastern Hancock County have the opportunity to complete undergraduate degrees free of financial burden.
“Congratulations to our first Davis Maine Scholars. Such talented, motivated students have earned this opportunity to shine. These first role models will serve as inspirations to and bridges for younger students to recognize the opportunities that come with a collegiate education and ultimately will strengthen the Downeast communities they call home,” Davis said.
The six inaugural scholarship recipients attend Narraguagus High School and Sumner Memorial High School. They were drawn from Maine Seacoast Mission’s college exploration and engagement program, which the students joined during their freshman years.
Applicants were assessed based on academic achievement, personal strengths, school and community engagement, and an application process that included essays, recommendations and interviews.
The Narraguagus scholarship recipients are Holly Lisett Anderson of Harrington and Mali Smith of Columbia Falls.
The Sumner scholarship recipients are Mya Abbott of Franklin, Rachel Colby of Gouldsboro, Emilee Hutchins of Winter Harbor and Ana Rosa Valencia Jungo of Sullivan.
Working closely with partner high schools and colleges, the Davis Maine Scholarship program will provide students ongoing mentoring and guidance as they apply to college and transition through it. The program also includes parent workshops and support. The expectation is that Davis Maine Scholars will earn their undergraduate degrees in four years.
Davis Maine Scholarship Director Christina Griffith said, “Our Davis Maine Scholars each demonstrate inspiring academic commitment and remarkable persistence, including through the pandemic. Their achievements reflect their courage, heart and unwillingness to give up no matter the weight of the challenge. Alongside their families, I am so honored to celebrate and support them on their continuing academic journeys.”
For more information, go to www.seacoastmission.org/what-we-do/student-pathways/davis-maine-scholarship.