Archive for July, 2014

Carlos Andrade, our first Mitchell Scholar!

Thursday, July 17th, 2014

Carlos Adrade, Camden Residential Program Class of 2014 and our very first Mitchell Scholar!

Carlos Adrade, Camden Residential Program Class of 2014 and our very first Mitchell Scholar!

Since 1995, The Mitchell Institute has awarded more than $11 million in college scholarships to over 2,300 Maine students.  Applicants are selected on the basis of academic record, financial need and community impact. This year, one of our very own students, Carlos Andrade, was selected as Wayfinder Schools’ first-ever Mitchell Scholar!

Upon learning of his selection, Carlos said, “When I received the scholarship, I didn’t know what to think, the world just shut off for a few minutes and I couldn’t believe what I was reviewing and looking at.  I couldn’t tell you if I was excited or more shocked. I feel so honored to have been granted this scholarship. It has made me more excited about this up coming year! “

The mission of The Mitchell Institute is to “increase the likelihood that young people from every community in Maine will aspire to, pursue, and achieve a college education,” and their goal is to ensure “that no Maine student with the qualifications and ambition to pursue a college education should be denied that opportunity due to limited financial resources.”

The Mitchell Scholarship is about more than just financial support.  Recipients also receive guidance and mentoring throughout their college experience. This combined approach of both financial and personal support has proven highly effective: 85% of Mitchell Scholars complete college, 84% are working in career-related jobs and 40% have completed or are pursuing graduate degrees.

In addition to expressing deep gratitude to The Mitchell Institute, Carlos said, ““I do want to thank some additional people for their support; Wayfinder staff members Emily Sapienza, Joseph Hufnagel, Carrie Braman, Ethan Meigs, Evie, and Cathy Ames- Cruz. Without this group of people I don’t think I would be where I am at in life.  So thank you so much for all the support that was given to me! I’m going to attend Central Maine Community College and I am very excited to start this new journey.”

Congratulations Carlos and thank you to The Mitchell Institute for supporting the dreams and goals of our Wayfinders!

Ducks, chickens, bees; kale, cabbage, peas

Wednesday, July 16th, 2014

Our wonderful new gardens atop the hill in New Gloucester are bustling with activity as Rachel, our new Garden Coordinator, tends to kale, chard, tomatoes, peas, beans, cabbage, garlic, greens, and much, much more.  Enough for both our own culinary program, and to distribute to low income seniors in Cumberland and Knox Counties.  Not only that, we’re raising chickens, ducks and bees; learning to tap trees; making our own pickles and jams and much more.  Add this to the baking of our daily bread and we’re becoming true localvores!

outdoor classroom Our new outdoor classroom, in the gardens at Opportunity Farm

Molly Molly, one of our three resident garden ducks!


new kale Kale and chard growing at the farm

wheelbarrow Working on the farm


spindly chard  Swiss chard growing in the garden


zac Zach working in the garden back in June

margo and crew

Margo and crew getting ready to work in the garden, June 2014


garden view A view from the garden

A glimpse at our Class of 2014

Wednesday, July 16th, 2014

This year, we graduated 23 students who once thought they might never complete high school.  Now, they are on their way to college and jobs throughout Maine and New England, including working at The Maine Wildlife Park, at a preschool, at a car dealership, landscaping, working in restaurants and more.

Several of our graduates are headed to Southern Maine Community College and several are studying nursing and early childhood education.  Two have received significant college scholarships, and all are headed out into the world with new confidence and skills.

Congratulations all!

camden 14 gradsOur Camden Residential Class of 2014: Back row, L-R: Skyler, Katelyn, Cheyanne, Mitch, Shama.  Middle Row: Emily. Front row: Carlos.

Carlos has just been named our first Mitchell Scholar!

Read more about Carlos’s Mitchell Scholarship here:

wa cty Our Washington County Passages Class of 2014: L-R: Niomi, Kayla, Tasha, Monique.

Niomi has just been awarded the John L. Hawkes College Scholarship.

Read more about Niomi’s Passages graduation project here:

Read more about our all of Washington County County graduates here!: WC Passages Graduation 2014

Wayfinder Schools teacher Erica Gates celebrates three  Passages students who graduated on June 14 in Camden. Aimee Barnstein, Dakota Sprague and Ashley Bartlett received their high school diplomas while parenting young children Our Midcoast Passages Program Class of 2014: L-R: Teacher Erica Gates with graduates Aimee, Dakota and Ashley. Aimee’s Passages graduation project was to research becoming a nail technician, Dakota’s Passage focused on public speaking and Ashley’s was to job shadow in an intensive care unit. Ashley is now taking CNA courses and on her way to her dream of becoming a nurse.

Our Opportunity Farm Passages Program Class of 2014: Nicole & Miranda

miranda Miranda. Miranda’s Passages Project was researching a career in hair styling

nicole Nicole. Nicole’s Passages Project was to develop a business plan

Read more about all nine of our Passages Program graduates here!: June14 grad news

And finally, our Opportunity Farm Residential Program Class of 2014!: Zac, Ibraheem, Kalar, Megan, Keyanna, Danielle & Joelle!

2014 graduate zac conley Zac.  Passages Project: The Board Game of Life

KalarZach3 Kalar. Passages Project: The History & Evolution of Flight

ibraheem Ibraheem. Passages Project: Public Speaking                                   joelle Joelle. Passages Project: Videography & Making of Video of her Wayfinder Experience


danielle Danielle. Passages Project: The Masks We Wear

megan Megan. Passages Project:  Wrote & Illustrated a Children’s Book                                                                                 keyanna Keyanna. Passages Project: Researched & Made a Presentation on Alzheimer’s Awareness

Congratulations to all 23 Class of 2014 graduates!

Bob Dunfey named Wayfinder Schools’ first Chief Operating Officer

Monday, July 14th, 2014

Wayfinder Schools is pleased to announce that Bob Dunfey, of Cape Elizabeth, has been appointed the schools’ first Chief Operating Officer. As part of his position, Bob will be responsible for daily operations as the school continues to grow and serve more Maine youth.

Before joining Wayfinder Schools, Bob served as the Executive Director of ITNPortland.  He has also owned and operated hotels and a property management company, and managed several real estate development projects.

Bob started his career in his family’s company, Dunfey Hotels (now Omni Hotels), and served as Regional Administrator of the General Services Administration for New England during the Clinton administration.

Bob sits on the Board of Directors of America’s Charities, EarthShare of New England, and TD Beach to Beacon and volunteers for several other community organizations. He is also an accomplished runner who has completed over 100 marathons, including 24 consecutive Boston Marathons.

Of his new position, Bob says, “I’m thrilled to be part of this school and its very talented staff. It’s extremely rewarding to be part of this work and to see the powerful impact our program is having on disadvantaged Maine youth, families and communities.”