Passages Program Graduation

Posted on Tuesday October 27, 2009

The crisp fall sun shown ever more brightly on Saturday, September 26 at Camden’s John Street Methodist Church, as Wayfinder Schools celebrated the graduation of six Passages students.

Amber Chaisty, Carly Lewis, Ashley Mellor, Breanna Novicka, Jane Tarbox, and Misha Taylor completed 24 core skills to successfully graduate with a high school diploma. In Passages tradition, students select the music, slides for the slide show and color of their graduation gown. This year, students in bright red, white, black and sky blue gowns attended the ceremony. With friends, family and children looking on, each student received her diploma, a copy of the slideshow, graduation newsletter and a single rose from their teacher following a few words about their work together.

Wayfinder Schools’s Passages program is a home-based high school degree program for young parents (age 14-21) residing in Knox, parts of Lincoln, Waldo and Washington Counties. Graduates receive a private high school diploma approved by the Maine Department of Education.

graduates and Andrea

Graduates and Andrea

To receive their diplomas, Passages students must complete 24 Core Skills in academics, parenting and life skills, attend group workshops, and do at least six hours of community service. Their final project, called the Passage, is a project that addresses a real passion, fear, risk or challenge of theirs. Once the topic is chosen the student plans and executes the project with the help of a committee and volunteer expert on the topic. But it is up to the student to execute the project.

Each student’s Passage represented the diverse interests and skills of the graduate. This year Amber Chaisty planned and built her own greenhouse. Ashley Mellor learned how to sew, making two outfits for her daughter and documenting it in a children’s book. Breanna Novicka completed a short novel she started years ago. Carly Lewis produced a video memoir, Jane Tarbox raised money for the Maine Children’s Cancer Program and Misha Taylor journaled her move with her son to Japan.

This year Passages was especially grateful to Malcolm Brooks, the Emmy-award winning musician and teacher who provided the music and procession accompaniment. Passages teachers include Andrea Itkin, Janet Larkin and Martha Kempe. Season’s Downeast provided each graduate with a rose and Plants Unlimited lent the flower arrangements for the ceremony and reception. A special thanks goes to Andrea Itkin who created a memorable slideshow made up of the student’s own pictures for the occasion.

To learn more about Passages please go to our website – or call, Martha Kempe, #236-8404 ext. 208.