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Maine Development Foundation

Press Release

$35,600 Awarded in Scholarships from Next Step Maine

28 Maine employees pursuing college degrees and certificate programs will receive funds


May 12th, 2016

Next Step Maine Employer Logo

28 Maine employees pursuing college degrees and certificate programs will receive funds

AUGUSTA, Maine - Next Step Maine announced today that $35,600 has been awarded to 28 Maine employees who were nominated by their employers for a 2016 Next Step Maine Employee of Promise scholarship this spring. The program is a free statewide initiative that awards funds to Maine employees who are currently pursuing a bachelor's degree, associate's degree or certificate program. The recipients were selected from 40 applicants from a variety of Maine companies and many educational institutions.

Next Step Maine is part of the Maine Development Foundation (MDF), a private, non-partisan membership organization that drives sustainable, long-term economic growth for the state of Maine. MDF's strategic focus is a productive workforce.

"We are extremely pleased with the progress the Next Step Maine program is making to help Maine's workforce continue with their education and training," said Yellow Breen, president of Maine Development Foundation. "There were double the number of applicants compared to last year and we raised $35,600 for scholarship funds, which is double from last year, as well."

The Next Step Maine 2016 scholarship winners are from seven different counties across the state from a wide range of businesses and educational institutions. Scholarship amounts for each individual range from $600 - $2,000. Scholarship recipients, their employers and family members will be recognized at a special breakfast awards ceremony on Friday, June 10, at the Senator Inn & Spa in Augusta.

Winners by county:
Ashley Belmain, The Aroostook Medical Center
Tracy Whitten, The Aroostook Medical Center

Shawna Chase, Tri-County Mental Health Services
Brandy Jenkins, Central Maine Medical Center
Christina McVay, Tri-County Mental Health Services
Lorri Morin, St. Mary's Regional Medical Center
Danielle Rideout, Tri-County Mental Health Services

David Burgess, Bowdoin College
Robert Conlogue, Town of Scarborough
Daniel Dusabimana, Spurwink Services
Brian Hallisey, Gulf of Maine Research Institute
Caleb Krantz, Mercy Hospital
Joseph Mushishi, Spurwink Services
Heather May Pond, VNA Home Health Hospice
Sara Smith, Bowdoin College
Jessica Stover, Coastal Enterprises Inc.
Daniela Todorova, Mercy Hospital
Sara Tompkins, Spurwink Services

Jessie Walker, Sugarloaf

Carrie Bartunek, Southern Kennebec Child Development Corporation
Cheryl Doucette, Johnny's Selected Seeds
Heather Spry, New Dimensions Federal Credit Union

Breanne Hatch, Damariscotta Bank & Trust

Carrie Hart, OHI
Bruce Hews Jr., Penobscot Community Health Center (Hope House)
Stephanie Mishou, Beal College
Kyle Santosuosso, LifeFlight of Maine
Danielle Thompson, Penobscot Community Health Center

Next Step Maine received donations and grant support from the Bangor Savings Bank, Cianbro, Maine Chapter Association for Talent Development, Maine Community Foundation, Nellie Mae Education Foundation, Pratt & Whitney, Renys, Saint Joseph's College, and SHRM Maine State Council.

Since 2013, the Next Step Maine program has contributed more than $63,900 in scholarships and helped more than 50 Maine employees attain advanced education in their field. Recent alumni of the program have experienced success in a variety of ways, including pay increases, promotion and career advancement. The goal of the Next Step Maine scholarship program is to support and recognize working adults who are going to school while managing jobs, families, and other responsibilities.

Scholarships are available for employees of Next Step Maine employers - committed employers who have joined a no-cost statewide initiative to advance the educational attainment of Maine's workforce. View a list of current Next Step Maine employers.

To learn more about Next Step Maine and how to become a Next Step Maine employer, please visit


About the Maine Development Foundation (MDF):
The Maine Development Foundation (MDF) is a private, non-partisan membership organization that provides leadership, trusted research, and creative partnerships to enable Maine business, community and policy leaders to drive Maine's long-term economic growth. Created in statute in 1978, the nonprofit 501(c)(3) corporation works statewide across all sectors. MDF includes more than 250 statewide members including business people, educators, government officials and community leaders that are passionate about Maine's economy. MDF provides a common ground for leaders to discuss and act on issues affecting Maine's economy. Learn more at

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