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September / October 2004

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UMaine Today Magazine

University of Maine Foundation

Bronwyn Smart
Bronwyn Smart

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For as long as she can remember, Bronwyn Smart has wanted to be a schoolteacher. She also always planned to study at the University of Maine.

"I wanted to be close to home so I could visit my family and still attend a good school," says the elementary education major from Millinocket, Maine.

But when her stepfather lost his job in the local paper mill, Smart needed additional financial aid to continue her education. She became the first recipient of a University of Maine Foundation Adopt a Student scholarship.

She used the scholarship to help buy books and pay tuition.

"This is a great thing for the Foundation to do," says Smart, now a UMaine senior. "There are a lot of students out there who need help. Without the scholarship, I would have had more loans money I had to pay back on a teacher's salary."

Even with the assistance of scholarships, grants, work opportunities and other resources, UMaine students like Bronwyn borrowed more than $31 million to help meet their educational costs in 200304. Despite these efforts, each student lacked $1,400 on average last year to fully fund his or her basic educational expenses.

Recognizing the importance of addressing such financial needs, the Foundation launched the Adopt a Student Scholarship Program to encourage bequests of at least $25,000. The ultimate goal is to build an endowment of $800 million to ensure that the financial needs of UMaine students are met in perpetuity.

Donor participation in the Adopt a Student Program is another way to "leave a legacy," says Amos Orcutt, president/CEO of the University of Maine Foundation. "The generosity of our alumni and friends provides students like Bronwyn with wonderful educational opportunities."

Bronwyn Smart will do her student teaching this spring. Following graduation in '05, she plans to teach in Maine schools. Her goal is to eventually be certified to teach grades K12, and one day be a high school history teacher.


UMaine Today Magazine
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