Franklin Countys First News

UMF Partnership for Civic Advancement receives three-year grant from Bangor Savings Bank

FARMINGTON — The University of Maine at Farmington was recently notified by officials at Bangor Savings Bank that their Foundation is continuing their support of UMF’s Partnership for Civic Advancement for another three years through a second grant of $45,000.

“We are indeed proud of the considerable accomplishments of the UMF Partnership for Civic Advancement,” said Kathryn A. Foster, UMF president, “and deeply grateful for the Bangor Savings Bank Foundation’s valued support of the community-university partnerships we have formed to take our students beyond our campus and immerse them in learning experiences that address local, regional, State, and global issues under the guidance of their faculty and community mentors.”

The goal of UMF’s Partnership for Civic Advancement is to engage students in meaningful community-based activities. These 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.

“The Bangor Savings Bank Foundation is proud to provide major support for the University of Maine at Farmington’s Partnership for Civic Advancement. Like Bangor Savings Bank, UMF is committed to making a difference in the broader community, and enabling its students to do so as part of their learning experience. The program has been a tremendous success, impacting dozens of community and business organizations throughout the region, in addition to the students and the University, and at the same time has become a signature program in western Maine for Bangor Savings,” said Yellow Light Breen, executive vice president and chief strategic officer for Bangor Savings Bank.

The community-based student internship program is a key component of the Partnership matching the skills and interests of undergraduate student interns and faculty mentors with the needs of small businesses and community organizations. Through these internships, students gain valuable work and life experiences and develop the professional, civic and leadership skills they need, while small businesses and community organizations have access to important resources that help them be successful.

Since its launch in 2012, the Partnership’s Internship program has grown by more than 300 percent, and new components of the program have been initiated, including volunteerism and leadership training and education.

“This significant continuation award from the Bangor Savings Bank Foundation will provide the needed scholarship support to permit our most committed students to work with various community organizations, agencies and businesses to advance the priorities of our community partners, while the students acquire a range of new educational, professional, and leadership skills,” said Celeste Branham, UMF vice president for student and community services.

Bangor Savings Bank Foundation’s original grant of $45,000, made in December 2011, was instrumental in enabling UMF to begin implementing the Partnership by helping fund the student internship program and leveraging support from other foundations and donors.

In recognition of Bangor Savings Bank Foundation’s support of the Partnership and its projects throughout the community, interns sponsored through the Foundation’s support are known as the UMF-Bangor Savings Bank Interns. Bangor Savings Bank will also continue to sponsor the annual event held to recognize the contributions that student interns, their faculty mentors and their partnering businesses and organizations have made to the community.

“This program has been incredibly important to the students participating, as well as to the business and non-profit organizations who have taken advantage of intern availability,” said Becky Davis Allen, Vice President and Regional Senior Retail Lending Specialist for Bangor Savings Bank in Farmington and a member of UMF’s Board of Visitors. “The stories that are told at the Partnership’s annual recognition dinners and at UMF’s Board of Visitors meetings have demonstrated the value over and over again and reinforce my pride in Bangor Savings as a vital partner in this endeavor. The growth and deepening of the scope of the program tells me how committed UMF is to making this a rich and meaningful experience for the students. And, the students tell us time and time again how instrumental the opportunity is to helping them secure employment after graduation. In this tough economy, we need our students to have an advantage in the market and to realize there are interesting, challenging, and rewarding career opportunities right here in Maine.”

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