Turning negative experiences into making a difference



Kaitlyn Tompkins
PHOTO COURTESY OF MAINELY CHARACTER

MOUNT DESERT ISLAND — Mount Desert Island High School Kaitlyn Tompkins was awarded a Mainely Character scholarship of $2,500. The scholarships are awarded annually to Maine high school seniors who demonstrate exemplary concern for others, responsibility, integrity and courage. Tompkins was selected from 375 scholarship applicants statewide, and her scholarship is sponsored by Reed & Reed, a general contractor and wind power company based in Woolwich.  

A victim of frequent bullying in her elementary school years, Tompkins often changed schools. She turned her negative experiences into a commitment to make a difference to others in her school and community. Along with significant family responsibilities, she was a regular volunteer at the local elementary school and coached Unified Basketball for three years, mentoring special needs students. She earned the respect of her peers and school staff, being selected to serve on her school’s Hearing Committee, where disciplinary cases are brought before a panel of teachers and students.  

As a member of the student council, Tompkins led a successful effort to make the homecoming king and queen selection process, traditionally based on gender and popularity, more inclusive.  

Tompkins will be attending the University of Southern Maine to pursue a career in education, partly in recognition of how much her teachers have helped her.  

Mainely Character has been awarding scholarships to students of character since 2001. Fourteen scholarships are being awarded in 2021. For more information, visit mainelycharacter.org. 

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