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Join Hands Day
Bridging the generation gap and improving communities was the focus of Join Hands Day, a national day of service sponsored on May 7 by Modern Woodmen of America and other fraternal benefit societies.
Join Hands Day brought together youths and adults to plan and complete volunteer service projects in their communities. Locally, Modern Woodmen’s Brewer Youth Club and chapters partnered with Levant’s Daisy and Junior Girl Scout Troop. The groups made goodie bags for the children at Eastern Maine Medical Center.
Coordinated by local Modern Woodmen members, chapters provide opportunities to connect through social activities and volunteer projects. Youth service clubs provide young Modern Woodmen members with opportunities to volunteer, be patriotic, learn new skills, make friends and have fun. Annually, Modern Woodmen and its members provide more than $23 million and nearly 1 million volunteer hours for community projects nationwide.
OLD TOWN — Virtual High School Global Consortium has announced winners of its fourth college scholarship program. Some $3,000 has been distributed among VHS students in Maine, Connecticut, Pennsylvania and Texas for college expenses. Three winners created videos, and the fourth submitted a poem that described how online learning influenced future college or career direction.
Dacie Manion of Old Town High School will use her $1,000 scholarship to attend Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where she plans to major in mechanical engineering with a minor in biomedical engineering. She completed three VHS courses — nuclear physics, biotechnology and AP statistics — which helped to develop her career interests.
VHS is a nonprofit collaborative of high schools, teachers and students. VHS member schools have access to 200 online elective, Advanced Placement and honors courses taught by VHS teachers who teach in classrooms at their member schools. For information, visit http://www.govhs.org.
BANGOR — Grace Evangelical College & Seminary celebrated its 10th anniversary and commencement on May 11 at United Baptist Church of Old Town. The speaker was Carroll Conley Jr., executive director of the Maine Family Policy Council, adjunct professor at Grace Evangelical and former principal of Bangor Christian Schools.
Grace Evangelical awarded bachelor’s degrees in biblical studies to Philip Gene Dow Jr. of the Milo area, a Bangor firefighter and paramedic; and Douglas Edmund Towle of Palmyra, a truck driver for a flooring distributor.
The first Master of Divinity degree was awarded to John Leslie Buhr of Orono, a certified nursing assistant. The master’s program is a three-year graduate degree program preparing students for pastoral leadership in church settings.
Grace Evangelical College & Seminary, founded in Bangor in 2001, has awarded 15 degrees since 2006. Many of these graduates have continued to further graduate education at Grace Evangelical or other institutions, including Liberty University and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. Grace Evangelical, a nondenominational higher educational institution, prepares students for service as mentors, lay leaders, teachers and pastors in evangelical churches in Maine and beyond.
BANGOR — North Park University in Chicago announced that senior Michael Nelson of Bangor has been awarded a Fulbright English teaching assistant scholarship, the sixth student from the school to receive the honor in four years.
Nelson, a history major who graduates this month, will travel to Poland in the fall to teach English and American culture. The experience will enable him to further his own education as he prepares to pursue a graduate degree in humanities or social sciences. Nelson also hopes to research the development of Polish national consciousness in the United States.
Nelson said he was inspired to teach in Eastern Europe after reading authors such as Fyodor Dostoevsky and Alexander Solzhenitsyn while a junior. His interest in Poland
grew while interning at the Polish Museum of America in Chicago.
The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government and is designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the U.S. and other countries. It provides participants, chosen for their academic merit and leadership potential, with the opportunity to study, teach,
and conduct research, exchange ideas, and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns.
Nelson has been working to increase mutual understanding among cultures. He taught English to Nepali refugees at the Ethiopian Community Association of Chicago and said of his experience, “An older Nepali man named Tikaram Kafley, who even in his difficult circumstances always seemed jovial and eager to learn, became motivation for me to bike five sweaty miles up to Rogers Park every week to teach.”
Nelson, the son of Eric and Lisa Nelson, both NPU graduates, recently finished studying at Oxford University in England for 3½ months. NPU is a Christian comprehensive university of all faiths and backgrounds.
ELLSWORTH — Applications are being accepted for the Maine Community Foundation’s Patriot Education Scholarship Fund. The renewable scholarship is designed to support graduates of Maine high schools who are now sophomores, juniors or seniors at a college or university in Maine, enrolled as full-time students pursuing a business degree. Preference is given to applicants who have a demonstrated interest in personal and commercial insurance professions.
Deadline for applications is June 1. Applications are available at http://www.mainecf.org.
A statewide organization with offices in Ellsworth and Portland, MCF has worked with donors and educators since 1983 to provide Maine students with access to educational opportunities. The community foundation manages more than 400 scholarship funds.
ORONO — The University of Maine will accept registrations until May 30 for its Maine Summer Transportation Institute for middle school students, set for July 11-22. The institute will run 9 a.m.-4 p.m. daily during the two weeks and is free. Up to 20 students from the Bangor area will get a close look at careers in engineering and transportation.
The event is co-sponsored by the Maine Department of Transportation, UMaine College of Engineering and the Federal Highway Administration. It is designed to introduce students at an early age to jobs and careers available in Maine’s transportation industry.
Accepted students will participate in field trips, leadership and team-building activities and a series of age-appropriate workshops related to transportation mode, safety and products, alternative fuels, construction materials and computer-aided design. Students also will participate in recreational activities at the Student Recreation and Fitness Center.
Most daylong activities take place at the Bion and Dorain Foster Student Innovation Center, at engineering labs and off-campus locations.
Maine Maritime Academy
CASTINE — Maine Maritime Academy student Robin Parker of Irvine, Calif., received the Phyllis Tenney Community Service and Leadership Award for excellence in community outreach and volunteer service throughout his college career. The award included a cash honorarium, a crystal plaque and his name on a perpetual display plaque in the Alfond Student Center.
Parker was named Firefighter of the Year in 2009 by the Castine Fire Department and served as an emergency medical technician with Bagaduce Ambulance, a local volunteer rescue team. On campus, he was an orientation leader for incoming students, worked as a teacher’s assistant and was president of the MMA Schooner Crew, a student club dedicated to the maintenance and promotion of the historic schooner Bowdoin. Parker graduated as valedictorian in 2010 with a bachelor’s degree summa cum laude in marine biology. He is pursuing a second degree at MMA in small vessel operations.