Wayfinder, Tree Street & Lewiston Public Schools receive Barr Foundation grant!

Posted on Tuesday June 27, 2017

Wayfinder Schools is part of an exciting new initiative that will allow for new alternative education programming in Lewiston. This project is funded by The Barr Foundation, and we are thrilled to be part of this grant, in partnership with Tree Street Youth and Lewiston Public Schools. Read all about it in The Sun Journal article below!

lewiston sun journal

Congratulations Graduates!

Posted on Wednesday June 7, 2017

grads on starirs

This year, Wayfinder Schools graduated 28 students who are now heading out into the world with their high school diplomas in hand. Some are entering the workforce, and others have been accepted to colleges and technical training programs throughout Maine. They are pursuing careers in welding, cosmetology, nursing, automotive technology, film, the culinary arts, environmental science and more. We are so proud of all our graduates. Congratulations to our Class of 2017!

  OF Passages  all grads!



Posted on Wednesday May 31, 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.

Join us for Graduation!

Posted on Tuesday May 16, 2017

2017 Graduation Ceremonies

Thursday, June 1

Washington County Passages Graduation

Dennysville Congregational Church | 15 King Street |Dennysville

Ceremony at 6pm/Refreshments to Follow

Graduates: Heidi, Amber, Lacee, Kaitland, Jade & Kelly


Friday, June 2

Residential Program Graduation

Opportunity Farm | 215 Gloucester Hill Rd | New Gloucester

Potluck at 1:00/Parade at 2:00/Ceremony at 2:30

Graduates: Allissa, Devin, Elle, Hassan, Ian, Joclany, Magen, Sean & Serenity


Thursday, June 8

Midcoast, Southern & Central MainePassages Graduation

Opportunity Farm | 215 Gloucester Hill Rd | New Gloucester

4:30 Refreshments/5:30 Ceremony/Cake to Follow

Graduates: Kayla, Amber, Deidra, Deserea, Barbara, Heaven, Lateesha, Katerina, Ryan, Desiree, Jacqueline, Shane & Nikiah


Congratulations Class of 2017!



Wayfinder Schools receives Tree Street Youth’s Heartwood Award!

Posted on Thursday May 4, 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!

Welcome Annie Messinger!

Posted on Thursday April 13, 2017

Wayfinder Schools is pleased to welcome new Director of Philanthropy Annie Messinger. Annie comes to Wayfinder with many years of development experience, including ten years as Director of Development & Marketing for Boys and Girls Clubs of Southern Maine. Annie grew up down the road from Wayfinder Schools in Gray, and graduated from the University of Southern Maine with a self-designed BA in graphic communication. Annie is an avid runner and snowboarder. She recently earned her motorcycle license and her next feat is the 40th Annual Chicago Marathon in October 2017. Annie is passionate about helping Maine teens graduate from high school and plan for their future. Annie joins Director of Grants and Communications Andrea Vassallo as part of the growing development team at Wayfinder. Head of Schools Paul Andrews says, “Wayfinder Schools is pleased to have a seasoned philanthropy professional like Annie join our team. Her expertise in fundraising and donor development complement our existing experienced development staff and programs. Annie’s work will help us continue our vital work with Maine students.”

Anthony Doerr in Maine on May 25: Sold out! Thank you to our sponsors & hosts!

Posted on Monday March 6, 2017

We’re thrilled to host Pulitzer Prize winning author Anthony Doerr at The Maine Irish Heritage Center on May 25. Doerr is the Pulitzer Prize winning author of All the Light we Cannot See, and he will be joined on stage by Pulitzer Prize winning writer Richard Russo, author of Empire Falls, Bridge of Sighs, That Old Cape Magic, Nobody’s Fool, Everybody’s Fool, Mohawk, The Risk Pool, Elsewhere and others. Doerr and Russo will take the stage at 7pm. A catered reception with the authors will begin at 6pm.







Join us for our Open House, March 16 in Camden!

Posted on Monday March 6, 2017

Swing by our Camden campus from 4-6 pm on March 16 for homemade soup, bread and St. Patrick’s Day treats! Come meet our students, staff and Board of Directors. Bring a business card for a chance to win our door prize: 2 tickets to our May 25 event with Anthony Doerr!

March 16 Open House



THANK YOU to all who have supported our 2016 Annual Appeal!

Posted on Sunday December 11, 2016

There’s still time to make your year-end tax deductible donation in support of students like Arao, Carolynne, Jarred and Lindsey.

arao lidsey

Click here to read more about these 2016 graduates: 2016-appeal-4-stories


Welcome Acting Head of School Paul Andrews

Posted on Tuesday November 15, 2016

Former Wayfinder Schools Board Member Paul Andrews will assume the role of Acting Head of Schools on Tuesday, November 15. Andrews will fill the role following the resignation of Dr. Dorothy Foote, who has served as Head of Schools since 2008. Dr. Foote has decided to continue expanding the scope of her work regionally and nationally to assist marginalized youth in achieving their high school diplomas. Foote said, “I greatly appreciate the support of my colleagues over the years from the Community School, to Opportunity Farm and the Wayfinder Schools, and I look forward to sharing their successes in the future.”

Andrews is a retired Human Resources Executive who lives in Portland. He holds a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Maine at Orono and for six years worked for U.S. Senator Olympia Snowe. He worked out of state for over 30 years for Safeco Insurance and the The Horace Mann Companies in a variety of roles, including Chief Customer Officer and Information Technology. He has volunteered with and served on the Board of Directors of United Way of Central Illinois, and currently serves as Board President of the Munjoy Heights Condo Association.

He says, “Having served on the board for the past year, I have been witness to the incredible work of Wayfinder Schools, and I look forward to leading the school through this transition period. We are fortunate to have a very strong staff and board, and an exceptional group of dedicated students who are working their way toward high school graduation. This work is changing lives for the better, and I am proud to be part of it.”

Board Chair Don Russell said, “The board is very grateful to Dot for her service to the students of Maine and to our schools and staff, and we are thrilled to welcome Paul as our Acting Head of Schools. Wayfinder has grown to serve more than 80 Maine teens annually who are at-risk of high school non-completion. Our programs provide a path to a high school diploma while encouraging life skills for students transitioning to adulthood. We are proud of the work of our staff, and of the significant accomplishments of our students.”