Franklin Countys First News

Bangor Savings supports students in United Way’s Summer Experience

Pictured are Bangor Savings Bank’s Assistant Vice President and Farmington Branch Manager Dyan Macomber with Assistant Branch Manager Heidi Elliott with a check presentation to help this year’s Summer Experience attendees.

FARMINGTON - When Bangor Savings Bank heard about what one Summer Experience student did after attending the week-long event, they wanted to see how they could support future students.

United Way’s Summer Experience: Leadership and Growth through Services is a partnership with United Way of the Tri-Valle Area, GEAR UP, Syntero and the University of Maine at Farmington. This week-long experience is for area students going into to 8th and 9th grade and provides them with the information, skill-building, and resources to go back into their communities and make change.

Throughout the week students:
Learn about community resources
Participate in a mini-Caravan of Caring
Participate in a Day of Caring
Create their own Day of Impact
Presentations from Upward Bound, United Way Partner organizations, and some filming time at Mt Blue TV
Develop leadership skills, including communication, presentations, group projects, and project management

There are two sessions in July, one starting July 23 and the second starting July 30. Sessions run from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the United Way office (though there are several community outings) and all snacks and lunch is provided. Mileage reimbursement is available.

In each session students are tasked with identifying a community and a need in that community, then determining a plan to address that need. Each small group then presents their idea/plan to a panel of community members, who select the final project to move forward. The group then implements that plan on the final day of their Summer Experience as a Day of Impact. Last year one winning group identified their school at the community and a need for kids to have more food at home. Their plan was called ‘Pack-A-Snack’ and included a gallon-sized zip lock bag filled with healthy snacks that teachers could then send home with students as needed. A student from that session returned to her own community and worked hard to organized what she named ‘Snack Attack’ in her own school (and then since expanded outside her school) doing her own fundraising, packing and distributing. This is exactly what the Summer Experience is designed to do – demonstrate that students (of any age) have a voice, and when they know the resources, can make a difference when they see a need.

Bangor Savings Bank has generously sponsored $500 towards supplies for students to use in the implementation of the winning project on the Day of Impact. This money will help students learn to work within a budget, how plan to use their resources efficiently, and give them real life experience in bringing their idea to life.

United Way of the Tri-Valley Area’s mission is to unite people and resources to improve lives and build a strong and healthy community. Every dollar and hour is appreciated, so please consider helping United Way help others by making a tax deductible charitable contribution. For more information about United Way of the Tri-Valley Area, visit or call 778-5048. Like them on Facebook, too, to be kept up to speed on programs and initiatives that are up-coming.

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