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UMaine Gives 4-H Teens a Taste of College

Contact: Christy Fitzpatrick, 207-532-6548

ORONO, Me. –University of Maine Cooperative Extension brought 41 Maine 4-H members aged 11-15 to campus for a UMaine experience May 19-20. Through a collaborative effort of faculty members, staff members and graduate students, participants attended activities to learn about UMaine and its many possible courses of study. For parents, there were sessions on admissions and college readiness, scholarship candidacy and all aspects of financial aid.

Teens attending the event, which was called “EDGE: Engagement, Direction and Goals in Education,” said they got “a really great view of what college would be like.” One participant “learned about programs in animal science that I could come here to study,” and many hoped they could return next year.

Students were able to choose from hands-on activities like creating digital photo stories, designing Web pages, programming robotics, tracking seals using Geographic Information Systems software, preparing healthy snacks and visiting calves and other members of the animal science program at Witter Farm. To experience some of the recreational opportunities on campus, participants enjoyed the climbing walls at the Maine Bound Outdoor Education Center, swam at Memorial Gymnasium and did a GPS scavenger hunt. They also completed a community service project as a part of the national “Operation: Military Kids” program, putting together “Hero Packs,” backpacks filled with games, school supplies, writing paper and other items for “suddenly military” youngsters whose National Guard parents have been deployed.

4-H had many partners in this effort including the Pine Tree State 4-H Foundation, Dead River Company, Bangor Savings Bank and Eaton Peabody. The adult sessions were offered by the Office of Admissions, the Office of Student Financial Aid and the Maine Community Foundation, among others.

4-H “EDGE” weekend was designed to help youth make decisions about their future college careers: the teens “engaged” with areas of study at the university and the faculty who teach them, found “direction” toward future college experiences, and set “goals” for future success in “education.”

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