Scholarship for first-generation college students



BAR HARBOR — The Maine Seacoast Mission, the Shelby Cullom Davis Charitable Fund, and three inaugural partner colleges — Clark University, University of New England and Wheaton College — announce the launch of the Davis Maine Scholarship: a full, four-year scholarship for rural, first-generation college students from Washington and eastern Hancock Counties.

In announcing this new program, Andrew Davis of the Shelby Cullom Davis Charitable Fund said, “This is a remarkable opportunity for deserving Downeast high school scholars. We are creating this scholarship for students who excel in their studies, persist through hardship and will be among the first members of their families to go to college. I very much look forward to supporting our college and high school partners on behalf these exceptional young people. It is extremely exciting to play a role in showing the world what Downeast students can achieve.”

Christina Griffith, who directs the new scholarship program at the Maine Seacoast Mission, added, “Coupled with the family and community strengths from which our Downeast students come, the Davis Maine Scholarship will provide Davis Scholars what they need to prepare for, persist through and successfully complete their undergraduate studies.”

At first, Davis Maine Scholars will be selected from two partner high schools: Narraguagus in Harrington and Sumner Memorial in Sullivan.

The first Davis Maine Scholarship cohort will be selected as high school juniors in fall 2020. Prior to matriculating to college in fall 2022, they will receive strategic college transition planning and support with college research, admissions and financial aid information, as well as tools for personal and academic college success.

The Davis Maine Scholarship also includes family engagement workshops, given the integral role families play in supporting students through their college studies.

The partner colleges were selected based on their institutional commitment to increasing socioeconomic diversity through demonstrated success with serving first-generation college bound, low-income, rural students through existing programs and resources. These colleges also demonstrated success with freshman retention and four-year college completion rates, especially among first-generation college bound students.

The Davis Maine Scholarship builds on the success of the Mission’s educational programs. For more than a century, the Mission has worked to address multigenerational poverty in rural Washington and eastern Hancock Counties through programs including the Mission Scholarship Program (founded 1918), and the Ed Greaves Education (EdGE) K-12 youth development program (founded 2002).

John Zavodny, Maine Seacoast Mission President said, “We are very pleased to be partnering with the Shelby Cullom Davis Charitable Fund to continue to provide Downeast communities with greater access to higher education. This strong partnership will result in more college graduates, greater economic opportunity and new roads toward promising futures.”

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