A local organization that has dedicated itself to connecting area youth with higher education opportunities in Aroostook County has found a new home with the University of Maine at Presque Isle.

Aroostook Aspirations has relocated its headquarters from one end of Main Street in Presque Isle to the other, establishing its offices on the first floor of UMPI’s Normal Hall. UMPI has partnered with Aroostook Aspirations since its establishment in 2011 and the move is an expansion of UMPI’s commitment to the organization.

“The vision of Aroostook Aspirations is one we whole-heartedly embrace and we’re so pleased to be able to step up our commitment to the incredible organization that Ray and Sandy Gauvin founded in order to better serve its needs and the needs of its student scholars,” UMPI President Ray Rice said. “Community partnerships are an important focus for our campus and this particular partnership has the added benefit of providing an organization with exactly what it really needs--direct access and proximity to a higher education setting.”

“All four of the higher education institutions we partner with in Aroostook County—UMPI, the University of Maine at Fort Kent, Northern Maine Community College, and Husson University—have been outstanding partners since we launched this important initiative in 2013,” Aroostook Aspirations President Sandy Gauvin said. “Recently, our board brainstormed ideas about how we could add value to our interactions, support, and service of the Gauvin Scholars attending the colleges in Aroostook. The concept of having our presence be more visible and consistent on the campuses where our students attend class came from that session. It was further suggested that locating our office on one of the campuses would be a great way to enrich the relationship with our scholars and support their work. We are most grateful to UMPI and President Rice for providing us both with this opportunity and the space on campus.”

The new Aroostook Aspirations space in Normal Hall includes two offices for staff, a shared conference room for meetings with community partners and scholars, and a shared lounge area that can be used for meetings, gatherings, and other activities.

This move to UMPI will allow Aroostook Aspirations to provide increased access to its student scholars and increased support for student success. This private-public partnership in support of workforce and economic development also allows the non-profit and higher education institution to more closely align their missions to support student success and reaching their potential for students in Aroostook County.

Aroostook Aspirations is a non-profit organization that works to reverse the outward migration of Aroostook County youth. It does this by providing scholarship funding and a strong support structure to graduates of Aroostook County high schools who enroll in the four institutions of higher education located in Aroostook County.

To learn more about Aroostook Aspirations, visit its website at www.aroostookaspirations.org.

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