Meet the Scholar coaches
As a Scholar Coach I am improving first-generation and rural student populations access to education. I guide students through barriers that arise in education which helps reduce summer melt, and support students in becoming self advocates starting in their senior year of high school throughout their first year of postsecondary education. When I’m not working directly with students I am collaborating within GEAR UP Maine and across statewide organizations to build lasting relationships, discover student supports, research and design professional development, plan and support student programs, and ensure the goals of the grant are being met. I’ve spent many years working in education, mainly in Financial Aid but most recently as a classroom teacher. This variety of experiences have allowed me to hone my skills in communication, organization, flexibility, and creative problem solving.
I am currently an interventionist / scholar coach for GEAR UP Maine. A federal 7 year grant awarded to Maine to help improve transition to College. Since my arrival, I have been actively involved with an ongoing research project (Aroostook Scholars) which is actively working with first generation and low income students transitioning to college from six remote Maine High Schools. I have also been working to bring college transition and issues related to the barriers that first generation students face to partners and stakeholders across the state and nation. In my position I carry out daily activities associated with a three year research study into college transition and persistence (data collection, virtual and live interventions, and collaborative problem solving). In addition I am working with GEAR UP Maine on implementing the findings of that work into a large scale program to support students, along with a credentialing program for college access professionals.
I work with students as they transition from high school to college with specific attention to disadvantaged students in rural areas with focus on removing barriers that prevent students from attending college. I coordinated the visionary work of GEAR UP Maine scholar program. I have also worked on an Active Research Project that is currently in it third year in a very rural isolated part of the state. The project has focused on Summer Melt and barriers students encounter on their process getting to and persisting in college. My background includes working with middle and high school students to prepare for college and beyond. I have extensive experience working with both high school and college students through GEAR UP and TRIO programs. I am liaison with the TRIO community and other college access programs. I am trained in FAFSA completion and financial aid. I am committed to helping ALL students into a post secondary tract. Being a first generation and a TRIO Alumni myself, I am committed to this work and can give the insight from being there, done that myself. This gave me the background to teach First Year Experience course at the college level which address students learning the soft skills needed to persist and graduate. I have written several successful education federal and private grants. I have knowledge in federal regulations that pertain to both GEAR UP and TRIO. Skills that I have are students easily relate to me because I meet them where they are at. I believe deeply that ALL students can go to college and succeed I am able to share with them strategies to succeed. I am able to find creative solutions to roadblocks that students may encounter in the process. I have grant writing and management skills. I also have a strong background in data and financial management of large federal, state and private grants.
I am a deeply dedicated educator who believes in improving the future for all learners and having a positive impact on the lives of others is something I greatly value. As the GEAR UP Maine Scholar Coaches Manager, it is my responsibility to lead the development and implementation of a college access and readiness program that works with 7-12 students, school personnel and faculty and staff at Institutions of Higher Education throughout Maine. From experience, building relationships is the cornerstone to an effective program and being detailed oriented, collaborative, innovative, and a creative problem solver are all traits which allow me to excel in relationship building.
After 26 years in public education I can easily say that the very best part of my career was being an advisor and advocate for learners. Being a scholar coach with GEAR UP Maine allows me to continue with that passion. I'll be here to support and guide our scholars during their transition from high school to college. Being a first generation college student myself, I understand not always knowing where to find answers and how to overcome barriers. I'll be here to help provide answers, help navigate, and to encourage self-advocacy with the scholars I have the privilege to work with. My love of learning, enthusiasm for education, and my excitement to work directly with students makes me happy to go to work everyday!