WORKING TOWARD POSITIVE OUTCOMES (Fall 2019). Teenagers can benefit from adult mentors and an opportunity to explore options for college and career, but these experiences may be in short supply in rural communities. Trekkers is an outdoor-based mentoring program in Rockland, Maine, that is squarely aligned with the Fund’s youth development goal of helping to prevent students from dropping out of school and staying on a path to self-sufficiency in adulthood. The Clowes Fund made a first-time grant of $20K in 2017 to help Trekkers experiment with paid internships at local businesses, including an electrician and an occupational therapist. However, Trekkers discovered that many high school students were unable to commit to an internship due to schoolwork, sports and family obligations, as well as need to keep a regular job to pay for their own needs and contribute to the family budget. While disappointing, the lessons from this pilot internship program helped Trekkers identify an even bigger goal – integrating its staff into the local high school so students at risk for dropping out of Trekkers, and in turn at higher risk for dropping out of high school, get the extra help that they need during the school day. This is the focus of the Fund’s 2019 grant. We are pleased to support Trekkers’ ongoing efforts to support positive outcomes for the youth of mid-coast Maine.
In the image, this Trekkers intern worked with Pen Bay Medical Center and is now pursuing a career as a pediatric occupational therapist.
Clowes Fund Field(s) of Interest: Workforce (Youth) Development