Dirigo Leadership and Service Living-Learning Community (LLC)

Dirigo, the Maine state motto, is Latin for “I lead.”  Maine has a long history of service-oriented leaders, and we hope to encourage future generations to follow in their footsteps.  The Dirigo Leadership and Service LLC is an innovative leadership development program based on the idea that true leadership must be oriented around service to others.  We believe that a devotion to selfless community service can transform students’ lives and improve the health of our communities.

The program reinforces these principles through several interconnected lines of programming:

  • Pre-Semester Leadership Trip: The program begins with a group trip prior to the start of the academic year that takes of advantage of Maine’s unique outdoor opportunities, builds teamwork among participants, and establishes a solid foundation for success in the LLC.
  • Living-Learning Community: Students are part of a residential living-learning community, which includes extensive leadership programming under the guidance of a UMaine faculty member and a trained graduate assistant.  Throughout the year, students will have the opportunity to participate in leadership workshops, social activities, and other campus events that reinforce the program’s core principles and ideals.
  • Curricular Component: Students in the LLC enroll in a special offering of LDR 100 – Foundations of Leadership in the fall semester.  This course will introduce students to core concepts in the field of leadership studies and provide students with a strong foundation for future leadership endeavors.  In the spring, students take an advanced course on Leadership and Service. These courses provide credit toward the Leadership Studies minor.
  • Experiential Community Service Project: As part of the Leadership and Service course, students will have the opportunity to design and implement an intensive community service project, under the guidance of a faculty advisor, in the late winter or early spring.  The project will connect the ideals and values of the program in a comprehensive, holistic manner.
  • Dirigo Leadership Conference: Students will help plan and participate in the annual statewide Dirigo Leadership Conference, which includes workshops, networking opportunities, breakout sessions, and keynote lecture from an internationally recognized leader.

2018 – 2019 Dirigo LLC Recap: 

In 2018-2019, the Dirigo Leadership and Service LLC performed several service programs related to poverty, homeless, and economic insecurity. The LLC served meals at the Salvation Army and partnered with Welcome to Housing, an all-volunteer non-profit in Old Town that provides free household goods to individuals and families transitioning out of homelessness. Students spent time organizing Welcome to Housing’s furniture warehouse, designed new informational brochures, assembled an information and resource guide, and helped the organization plan future initiatives.

The Dirigo LLC plans to return for the 2020-2021 academic year.