Meet Megan Shea, our newest Passages Teacher!

Posted on Tuesday January 27, 2015

mehan shea

As our Passages Program continues to grow in southern Maine, we are delighted to welcome our newest Passages Teacher, Megan Shea. Megan came on board this fall to help cover our expansion into York County, the realization of a longtime goal for our program. Passages, established in 1994 in the midcoast, now serves close to 60 students in Knox, Lincoln, Waldo, Washington, Sagadahoc, Androscoggin, Cumberland and York Counties.

Each Passages student is matched with a teacher who provides individualized instruction in the student’s own home, thereby eliminating the need to secure daily childcare and transportation in order to attend school.

Students work at their own pace toward the completion of 24 core skills in parenting, academics and life skills development.  Students also participate in group-workshops with other young parents and their children, and they perform volunteer projects in the community.  These workshops and projects help students build on their core skills, develop connections and job skills and reduce the isolation that can sometimes accompany teen parenthood, particularly in rural areas.

Finally, each student must complete a final graduation project or “Passage” that addresses a particular challenge or goal for that student. Recent Passages Projects have included studying automotive repair, starting a photography blog, researching nursing schools, writing a business plan, performing live music, studying to become a vet tech, designing a cookbook, learning to play guitar and many more.

Passages began its expansion beyond the midcoast in 2008, when we established our Washington County program, now housed at University of Maine in Machias. In 2011 we expanded into Sagadahoc and Androscoggin Counties, and then to Cumberland County.  Now, as we grow into York County, Passages Program Director Martha Kempe says,

Wayfinder is very excited to begin serving teen parents living in York County.  We’ve begun meeting with area schools and social services agencies to introduce Passages and provide an answer for young parents who cannot attend school or are struggling to remain enrolled while taking on their parenting responsibilities. Our goal is to be able to keep young parents in school and help them graduate so they can better support their families and reach their goals. We are thrilled to have Megan as the newest member of our Passages team.”

Megan recently completed a Master’s in teaching from Simmons College and has Massachusetts and Maine licensure in 7-12 English Language Arts. She says that in addition to “working alongside the students, their babies, and my colleagues, my favorite part of the job is the non-traditional nature of our work. My office is my car and students’ homes, they set their educational pace, and I try to facilitate and coach their learning, rather than using instruction. I’d like people to know that Passages is a very unique program, not only for Maine but nationally. Our graduates continue the hard work they’ve begun with parenthood as they are prepared for the complexities of adulthood; they don’t simply pass a test and get a piece of paper.”

You can read more about Megan, including her past jobs as a nanny, barista, canoe instructor and blacksmith (!) here:

Megan Shea

Passages serves pregnant and parenting teens ages 14-20. For more information about how to enroll in Passages, contact Admissions Coordinator Pam Simpkins at pamelas@wayfinderschools.org