Franklin Countys First News

UMF Partnership for Civic Advancement celebrates third year of operations

Representatives and student interns from Belgrade Regional Conservation Alliance, one of several regional organizations recognized during the UMF Partnership for Civic Advancement’s third annual dinner. Left to right:  Yellow Light Breen, Bangor Savings Bank; Toni Pied, BRCA milfoil and stewardship director; Dr. Jean Doty, UMF professor of biology; student interns:  Sara Quimby, Sebastien Dumont and Jacob Taylor; and Kathryn A. Foster, UMF president.

Representatives and student interns from Belgrade Regional Conservation Alliance, one of several regional organizations recognized during the UMF Partnership for Civic Advancement’s third annual dinner. Left to right: Yellow Light Breen, Bangor Savings Bank; Toni Pied, BRCA milfoil and stewardship director; Dr. Jean Doty, UMF professor of biology; student interns: Sara Quimby, Sebastien Dumont and Jacob Taylor; and Kathryn A. Foster, UMF president.

FARMINGTON — The University of Maine at Farmington’s Partnership for Civic Advancement celebrated its third year of operations during a dinner event recently held on the UMF campus. Sponsored each year by the Partnership’s sustaining partner, Bangor Savings Bank Foundation, the annual event recognizes the contributions made by the program’s student interns, their community sponsors and faculty advisors.

This year, 41 student interns were recognized for their work through 44 different internships with 33 regional businesses and organizations. With the launching of the Partnership’s leadership education and training component this fall, this year’s celebration also recognized the achievements of 17 student leaders who successfully completed the Partnership’s 2014 Leadership Summit.

Announcing Bangor Savings Bank Foundation’s recent decision to continue their support for the Partnership for an additional three years, Celeste Branham, director of the Partnership and UMF vice president for student and community services, expressed the University’s appreciation for the generous support Bangor Savings Bank has demonstrated to the Partnership, UMF and throughout the regional community.

“The Partnership is a highly successful experiment in experiential learning at UMF, designed to benefits students and the community beyond UMF,” said Branham. “This vision could not have been realized without the sustaining sponsorship of Bangor Savings Bank to whom we are indeed indebted.”

Yellow Light Breen, executive vice president and chief strategic officer for Bangor Savings Bank, noted that making a second three-year commitment to the same program was not something the Bank’s Foundation normally does. “It was so compelling to us because of what the Partnership’s accomplished,” said Breen. “They knocked it out of the park and blew the cover off of it.”

According to Breen, the UMF Partnership approached Bangor Savings Bank with this program concept three years ago and said they would have 30 student interns and 50 community partners. Earlier this year, they already had 77 student interns and more than 80 community partners and are rapidly closing in on 100 community partners.

“The decision to invest in the partnership is totally selfish,” stated Breen, because they see the reward to their company. “The returns are so obvious, to western Maine and Maine,” he stated, “and we’re darn proud of it.”

UMF’s President, Kathryn A. Foster, told the students the story of her internship experience in Baltimore while in college and how that experience changed her life. “It not only gave me a chance to use the knowledge I’d gained in the classroom and test myself in the real world, it helped me gain important skills needed on the job and confidence.” This experience “was real,” she stated, “and I felt like I had made an important contribution to the city.”

Guests at this year’s event were treated to a live improvisational music performance by Ellen Bowman, counselor and psychotherapist at Belgrade Central School, and Brandon Monroe, a UMF senior majoring in psychology and minoring in music who has been working at the Belgrade school during the fall semester as the expressive arts therapies intern.

The goal of UMF’s Partnership for Civic Advancement is to engage students in meaningful community-based activities. When fully implemented, Partnership activities will include internships, volunteerism, undergraduate research, service learning and leadership education and training. All Partnership activities are designed in collaboration with the western Maine community to address community needs and economic and community development priorities, and with students and faculty to achieve specific learning objectives of the students.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Comments are closed.

Categories

Archives