AUGUSTA, Maine — While Maine’s K-12 public schools are continuing to provide free bagged breakfasts and lunches to students during the coronavirus pandemic, food insecurity continues to rise. That's why Jobs For Maine's Graduates (JMG) is partnering with its school partners to give $100 Hannaford Supermarkets gift cards to 3,000 students and their families.
"JMG has taken the lead in this effort, and is putting resources directly into the hands of our students and families at a time when they need it the most,” Eric Haley, Superintendent of Waterville Public Schools said.
JMG programs are hosted within Maine’s public schools and higher education systems. JMG Specialists deliver a competency-based model, providing instruction for essential life and career skills, through personalized learning strategies.
“Students in all of the communities we serve have been telling their JMG Specialists they are struggling with getting enough food and other critical household items,” explains Craig Larrabee, JMG’s President and CEO.
"I reached out to the private sector because I knew its leaders would want to do something to support Maine students. Unum was the first to say yes, and others quickly joined forces.”
Eve Pelletier is a student enrolled in JMG’s College Success program at the University of Maine at Fort Kent (UMFK). Formerly in foster care, Eve credits her JMG Specialist Susan Dubay with helping her with everything from applying for a tuition waiver to making sure she had her own laptop when Maine’s university system had to close its campuses and move to a distance learning platform.
“My JMG Specialist is basically my go-to person for everything. I just started my first semester at UMFK this January, but my specialist started reaching out to me last August because she knew I was interested in going. She worked with me for months to make sure I was ready and to help me create my financial plan,” says Pelletier. “The coronavirus was a complete surprise, and it was shocking to have to leave campus. Now my JMG Specialist is my life-line while I am trying to figure out how to finish classes online.”
“We have physical distance, but our connections to students have never been stronger,” Susan Dubay, the JMG College Success Specialist at UMFK said.
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