Scholars reflect on Service Challenge

2016 Gauvin Scholars Emilia Churchill, left, and Brittany Corey, both from Washburn, prepare plates of food to distribute to communities for their Kindness Plate Project. The two created meals to share as part of the recent County Service Challenge, facilitated by Aroostook Aspirations Initiative. (Contributed photo)

PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — Aroostook Aspirations Initiative’s 2016 Gauvin Scholars successfully completed the 2017 County Service Challenge, a day in which they led community service projects throughout The County based on service platforms they began developing last July.

Each scholar took a different approach with their project, and some worked together to increase the potential impact of their project. 2016 Gauvin Scholars Emilia Churchill and Brittany Corey teamed up for the Kindness Plate Project. They put together and distributed plates of food to community members in need with the hope that those individuals will someday return the favor.

“It felt good to provide a meal for people in need,” said Corey. “It was also very rewarding to have added some canned and boxed goods to cupboards in Presque Isle and Washburn.”

2016 Gauvin Scholar Kaitlyn Parady led a group of volunteers to help the Fort Fairfield Historical Society with cleaning that needs to be completed before the Potato Blossom Festival. They also scraped the outside of Friends Church in Fort Fairfield. Parady says she learned a great deal about volunteering through leading her own project.

“I feel like I really understand what it’s like to be a leader and organize something. This project was all on me,” said Parady. “I also really gained a better understanding of just how important community service is, and how much it’s needed in Aroostook County.”

Aroostook Aspirations Initiative’s executive director, Kristen Wells, is pleased with the amount of personal and community success each project demonstrated.

“It’s impressive how much these students can accomplish when encouraged to think about what really matters to them,” said Wells. “We challenge them to plan, organize, and complete service projects and invite others to get involved, too.

“I’m inspired by their dedication to these projects and to their commitment to our Aroostook County communities. They did a great job,” Wells said.

To learn more about Aroostook Aspirations Initiative, visit, like them on Facebook, follow them on Twitter AAI/GauvinFund or e-mail them at Donations can be made online, in person at AAI, 754 Main Street Presque Isle, or by mail: 26 North Street Box 138, Presque Isle, ME 04769.

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