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
"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
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
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 2003–04. 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 K–12, and one day be a high
school history teacher.
UMaine Today Magazine
Department of University Relations
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Phone: (207) 581-3744 | Fax: (207) 581-3776