Archive for May, 2017

Wednesday, May 31st, 2017

Passages student Heaven Dow made this speech to a full house during our event with Anthony Doerr and Richard Russo on May 25th. Heaven is one of 28 students who will graduate from Wayfinder Schools this year.

Congratulations Heaven!


My name is Heaven Dow. I’m 22 years old. I have a fearless 4-year- old daughter and a sweet 8-month-old boy. I’ve been in the Passages Program for about 3 ½ years.

When I started Passages I was completely lost. I was a teen mom, I had my first apartment, and neither my parents or my fiance’s parents taught either of us how to be grown ups. We didn’t have role models to show us what to do and not do. I tried public schools, but with growing up in an abusive home, school was the last thing I could focus on.

When I became emancipated I moved out of town. I tried signing up for school but the struggle of trying to provide for myself and stay educated was too much. After I had my daughter I ran into a girl I used to go to school with and she told me about this program.

Passages has not only helped me with academics, its core skills help me learn how to be a mother. First aid, early childhood development, home safety and organization, employment and budgeting/shopping are a few core skills that we have to research, practice, and complete in our program. We have to volunteer, and every few months we have workshops with the parents and children to learn hands-on together. We’ve gone to children’s museums, wildlife parks, nursing homes. We had a CPR training class last month, and my daughter loves to practice at home. Sometimes we have holiday crafts or parties. The entire time you work on these core skills you have one called Self Care that stays open. It’s to make sure that even with all this crazy stuff going on around us as new parents trying to juggle school, children, jobs, household chores or errands that we don’t forget to take care of us too.

Not only is the curriculum fantastic but the student teacher bond is one of a lifetime. My teacher Megan has guided me, supported me, and pushed me to do my best- more than most adults in my life have. She’s been there for me with school and my home life. My fiance is a recovering addict, I was hit by a car last march, moved twice, and had a beautiful baby. So this school year has been the hardest one yet. I wouldn’t have been able to graduate if she wasn’t in my corner. Sometimes it was leaving ginger tea outside my door when I had morning sickness, helping me start easing my way back to school after my accident, sometimes even writing for me when I couldn’t. She helped me learn how to parallel park. And she not just watched my children while I did schoolwork, but played with them and building a bond with them that they can hold on to. Some days she just sends an encouraging text message.

This program has changed my life in more ways than I could ever tell you, and it has changed the lives of so many young parents who wouldn’t have been able to get an education if it wasn’t for Passages. Thank you for coming to this event and supporting our school. Our teachers thank you, we parents thank you, and all of our children thank you.

Our visit to Maine Medical Center’s Research Institute

Sunday, May 21st, 2017

Earlier this month, a group of Passages students visited Maine Med’s Research Institute in Scarborough, where they met with Dr. Lucy Liaw and Dr. Michaela Reagan. Students toured labs and learned about the cancer and cardiovascular research being conducted by Dr. Liaw and Dr. Reagan. Students learned about the day-to-day life of a scientist, as well as the education and experience necessary to pursue a career in the sciences. Thank you to Doctors Liaw and Reagan for the tour and the inspiration!



another kiss

Wayfinder Schools receives Tree Street Youth’s Heartwood Award!

Thursday, May 4th, 2017

joclan hussan juliabrenda joclany hussanjoc award

We are thrilled to be the recipients of the 2017 Heartwood Award from Tree Street Youth. The award was made in recognition of Wayfinder’s support of Tree Street’s students and staff.  Tree Street’s Executive Director Julia Sleeper said, “The heartwood section of the tree is the central core wood that begins the concentric circles as the tree grows and develops and is the first to give support and strength to the tree. You have been that support and strength at Tree Street for a long time and we know the successes we have accomplished could not have been possible without that support and guidance you have provided us over the years.”

We are honored to receive this award, which was presented at Tree Street’s I Am Tree event on April 27. Thank you Tree Street!

Pictured above, L-R: Wayfinder students Joclany and Hussan with Tree Street Executive Director Julia Sleeper

Wayfinder Board Member Brenda Chandler with Joclany and Hussan

Joclany, proudly showing off the Heartwood award!