An impressive group of high school juniors and seniors and their families recently spent a Saturday together as part of the annual Induction and Send-off for our Mentoring, Access and Persistence program (MAP) participants. MAP is a college scholarship program for island students that emphasizes personalized wraparound services for both the student and their family, beginning at the end of a student’s junior year of high school.
These islander families worked together on a range of subjects designed to help spark thought and discussion about the transition to college and to build inter-island and inter-generational connections within the group. One fun activity was the icebreaker, where participants indicated their personal preferences regarding a number of topics relevant to college and career success including organization, and attention to time. Not surprisingly, most in the group pay close attention to time and generally tend to run early rather than late – something they’ve likely learned from years of making it to the ferry on time!
Throughout the day, parents had time to chat, ask each other questions, and share excitement (and nervousness) about their students’ plans for the future. During the session before lunch, the students from the MAP18 cohort spoke about their best practices and things they had learned about the college process (so far) with MAP19 students, who will soon be starting the college application process. MAP18 students have the opportunity to have a peer mentor during their freshman year of college and become mentors for younger MAP students in the future.
The MAP18 students universally encouraged the MAP19 students to start the process earlier than they think they need to and to stay organized. This good advice worked well for them, as all of the MAP18 students who completed the program are heading off to college in the fall. The schools they will be attending, which include Dartmouth College, Colby-Sawyer College, Husson University, Thomas College, The University of Maine at Orono, and Washington County Community College, are very fortunate to have these outstanding island students!