The Maine Highlands Working Communities Challenge has reported significant progress and milestones of ongoing success in serving the youth of our region:
Our Compelling Cause is to understand persistent poverty in the Highlands Region and to develop inclusive, collaborative strategies so that everyone in our communities can thrive.
Since April 2023, the Youth Committee has connected our school districts, including homeschoolers, to our middle and high school youth survey. We received over 500 responses to our survey that asked youth questions about their aspirations and perceived barriers to achieving their goals.
In fact, interviews began at the end of the 2022 school year. Over 140 youth have volunteered to provide in-depth information on their life experiences in the Highlands Region. [July 2023 Blog]
Not only has the work built the foundations of a new collaborative network among the five school districts, but also began developing mentorship programs as part of the Congressionally Directed Spending Grant received this past session.
Ultimately, members of the MHWCC have felt empowered to do this work using their skills and resources. Members of our school communities are becoming more aware of the work MHWCC is doing and are buying into the desire for systemic change we are promoting.
Mid-October saw the first round of funding for the mentoring initiative delivered to some very excited school partners.
Piscataquis Community School Principal John Keane & Wanda LaBrecque
Greenville School Principal Lee Pearsall & Wanda LaBrecque
RSU 68 Superintendent Stacy Shorey, Wanda LaBrecque, SEDOMOCHA Principal Adam Gudroe
Wanda LaBrecque, AOS 94 School Social Worker Karen Gudroe, Ridgeview Principal Jessica Dyer
Wanda LaBrecque, Penquis Valley High School Principal John Dow