FORT KENT, Maine — The Rev. James Nadeau, pastor of St. John Vianney Parish in Fort Kent, has been selected to receive the 2014 Maine Educational Opportunity Association Achiever Award for his educational accomplishments and contributions to the community. Father Nadeau will be honored at the association’s annual conference at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 7, at Four Points Sheraton Hotel, 308 Godfrey Blvd.
“I would like to congratulate Father Nadeau for receiving this distinguished award that celebrates the pursuit of higher education and giving back to the community,” said Bishop Richard J. Malone, Apostolic Administrator for the Diocese of Portland, in a diocese press release. “The award is a testament to Father Nadeau’s commitment to inspiring students in the Fort Kent area as well as his own history of exceptional academic achievement.”
The Maine Educational Opportunity Association is an association of professionals providing educational opportunities for low-income and first-generation college-bound students who hope to enter and find success in higher education. In support of this commitment, a series of programs referred to as TRIO programs were established by Congress under the Higher Education Act of 1965.
Father Nadeau, who was a member of the first generation of his family to attend college, participated in a TRIO Upward Bound program during high school. The experience assisted him in improving his skills during high school in preparation for college.
“It was designed to encourage you to go to college,” said Nadeau, in a press statement. “If I wasn’t involved with that program, I might not have gone to college. I try to recruit kids for it when I see low-income students in Fort Kent. I have bought laptops for a number of students to try to assist with the high costs. People helped me along the way and I try to offer that same assistance to others.”
Nadeau was born in Caribou and attended Caribou schools before earning his Bachelor of Arts degree from Dartmouth College in 1983. He also received S.T.B. and S.T.L. degrees from the Gregorian University in Rome, Italy. He was ordained to the priesthood in July 1988 at Holy Rosary Church in Caribou.