Merrymeeting Student Success
When Donna contacted student “A” through the Merrymeeting Support Collaborative, A was struggling with getting her needs met through her parents and natural supports. A’s parents struggle with mental health issues, housing instability, and other personal challenges which prevent them from giving A the care and support she needs. When Donna connected A to the Host Home Program, it was an opportunity for A to achieve housing stability, and maintain contact with her family, while making connections with another family to meet her basic needs.
A is a bright high school senior who is known by friends, teachers and other community members for her kindness, self-advocacy, determination, hard work ethic, and passion about addressing social and systemic issues that are challenging our communities today. A speaks about these issues with candidness and deep insight. In her work with Donna and Katie, A has participated in school IEP meetings to set up and implement accommodations that helped her to engage in a meaningful way with her school programming. Donna has assisted A with connecting to career and technical education opportunities where she’s fully-engaged in learning a trade.
Donna and Katie assisted A with applying for her college of choice, filling out and following up on FAFSA, and helping her obtain a $3200 local scholarship. A was awarded a full tuition scholarship at her college of choice. Donna has supported her in scheduling and transportation to take placement tests, transferring records and transcripts, and navigating admissions and enrollment. She has also helped to navigate and obtain resources through SMCC such as TRIO advising, Disability Supports, Housing, Financial Aid, Counseling, and Food Services.
Donna and Katie have assisted A to travel to and from appointments to register for college classes, connecting with college advisors, participating in campus tours, as well as connecting to community resources for dental care, including Portland-area oral surgeon for wisdom teeth extractions. Additionally, Donna and Katie have worked with A to search for mental health providers that will accept her insurance.
Donna has assisted A with:
- physical therapy appointments, follow up with billing offices about insurance coverage.
- transporting A to primary care for checkup and to initiate referral for chiropractic care.
- connecting her to medical services for med management.
- connecting graduations resources, such as hair appt, jewelry, dress, and makeup for prom, as well as transportation to graduation marching practice.
- scheduling her first driver’s license road test, including navigating BMV to understand expectations of how to earn permit hours.
- scheduling and paying for second road test (fingers crossed!).
- setting up her first bank account.
- emotional support as challenges came up, such as navigating life transitions, family dynamics, mental health, racial identity in Maine, and social issues she sees occurring in her community/globally.
- paid workforce development summer programming and summer housing.
We will continue to support A as she enters her first year of college.
A’s story is just one of many of the youth we serve. Each one has unique talents, gifts, and abilities that we aim to foster as we walk alongside them through life.