Maine’s 2014 Gubernatorial Race

As a 16-year-old in the state of Maine I cannot vote for another two years but there is no age limit on opinions.
So far there are two declared candidates for the job. The first is the residing Paul LePage whose career as governor has been tainted by his blunt wording and stout opposition to anything less than conservative. Second is the Millinocket resident and federal House Representative Mike Michaud.
While both are technically qualified for the job, only one really stands as a leader who is truly invested in Maine’s past and in-the-making history. That would be Mr. Michaud.

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Veazie Dam Removal 2013

Let me tell you a story that illustrates my stance a little better. It all started this summer with my group project leader at Trio Upward Bound. He told us about the removal of the Veazie dam which aside from its historical impact, was perfect for us as we were designing a modern (Eco-friendly) dam. As soon as I arrived at the event I was immediately hit with a sense of the warm Maine community. Everyone was talking and making connections when the facilitator of the event came and ushered the crowd’s attention to the stage.

After enjoying a Native American drum circle performing traditional music, various speakers fulfill their title and talk about the event, it’s importance and the countless hours that went into the project. What really struck me here was Mike Michaud was the only powerful Maine politician who gave a speech, not from within a letter one of his staff read on stage, but in person. Now I’m not saying the other politicians are lazy or un-dedicated but Mr. Michaud really exemplified his love for everything Maine, by making time in his complex and demanding schedule for the event.
Take away – Michaud 2014!

Best Summer Program For Students

To send a son or daughter away for any amount of time can be difficult for parents, and likewise for the kids if they are prone to homesickness, but if its possible it is 100% worth it. I spent six weeks after school was out at Trio Upward Bound Math Science in the University of Maine, and I feel better not only as a student scholar but as a human being.

A normal day would start out with us waking up anywhere from 5 (for the crazies that went jogging or swimming in the morning) to 7, showering then eating breakfast. From here we would leave our building on campus around 8, and either attend our 3 classes which we had a hand in signing up for, OR work on our group project. The group project’s focus changed annually and is always for the betterment of society, this past year it was sustainability and with this my group designed a dam that would generate electricity while allowing the passage of fish. After the first half of the day we would have lunch at Hilltop, the fantastic universities buffet cafeteria. Once we had gotten our fill we would go on to attend a community meeting at 12:40 and talk about the remainder of the day, give pats to each other for nice doings (sappy yet necessary), and talk about other miscellaneous things.

With the first part of the day down it starts to get really interesting. Right after lunch we go to our individual project mentor and work on our six-week long project/paper/baby, the indy project was the staple to life at Upward Bound Math Science and garnered the greatest feeling of accomplishment after the program. For my project I chose an economics mentor who helped me write a 14 page beast on Maine’s Economy, showed me the ropes of economics programs and theories, and helped calm my sometimes pugnacious nature. The mentors are more than just textbooks, they are really invested in your success and give you loads of advice for college. For the rest of they day, after indy projects you had an amalgam of dinner, free time and…. Workshops! Workshops were loved by all and hated by none, they included going to the universities Rec center, among other staff hosted activities, but the Rec center was really the heavy hitter. I don’t know if you’ve been the UMO’s Rec center but its fun, and not just your everyday I’ll go for a jog and lift some weights fun, its volleyball in a whirlpool, hitting up the upstairs suspended-in-air track, challenging strangers to tennis death matches fun. There were simply too many things to do at the Rec center.

Back to academia, after all is said and done and the projects are completed, we showcase our indy projects at the STEM Symposium. Here we give one on one presentations to judges, who the do as their name suggests and give us scores based on the poster’s appearance and presentation skills. Afterwards there is an awards ceremony for best poster, best presentation and best overall (highly coveted by us students).

With the program nearing an end the benefits of attending truly became apparent. First we were able to socialize with high-caliber students for six weeks, forcing growth in collegiate social skills. Then we got to create a bona-fide scientific paper and poster with our individual project which you just know colleges are going to love. Coupled with the indy project was the group project, it gave similar benefits to the indy but demanded group cohesion, growing our group working skills exponentially. Finally we all just became better people. Somewhere along the way it happened, be it from the college atmosphere, living with 35 other teenagers or the community service we did at the local farm, it definitely happened.

And for the cost of all of this… We were granted $500!

Maine’s Changing Job Market and Economic Predictors

My individual project talked about in this post. It used a couple economic programs like Excel and Eviews to look at Maine’s composition by employment sector and economic indicators I.E how lobster prices, home values, energy prices, potato production, tourism employment affect Maine’s economy.

LD 730, Interesting Bill for Maine Fishermen and Enviromentalists

MPBN covering the LD 730 bill hearing, banning deadly lead sinkers of a certain size, I was one of the featured speakers near the end, along with a few other concerned citizens – and one VERY concerned fisherman/constitutionalist.

Speaking In Augusta to Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife on behalf of LD 730 - Banning lead sinkers to save our Loons. Its law now!

Speaking In Augusta to Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife on behalf of LD 730 – Banning lead sinkers to save our Loons. Its law now!

Maine Sportsmen and Conservationists at Odds Over Loon Protection Bill.

Forget Girl Problems, Colleges are the Real Deal Here

To compete in today’s economy a college degree is becoming ever more important. This being said, myself along with millions of other students have to be aware of this looming stage in our lives that gets one step closer at every senior graduation. In this post I want to delve into my college experiences I have had up to this point in my life.

The first major collegiate encounter I’ve had was visiting the Maine State College Fair at Bowdoin College. The excitement of being on such a prestigious campus fueled the inner college hunting passion within us students. My first stop at the fair (a symposium type setup with representatives from each major colleges in Maine) was of course Bowdoin. I approached the stand and was greeted with a warm professional smile, this wasn’t her first rodeo. We talk about tough competitors like Bates and Colby, we talk about the great economics program at Bowdoin which is an interest of mine, we even talk about Reed Hastings the CEO of Netflix and famous alumni. Shes got me hooked. I then take a half-hearted mull over to the Bates stand, I quickly start to talk about the great Bates economics program, the cozy Bates community and even about the representatives kids! This process repeats itself a few times each with a new college/love. The problem is that all of these colleges were attractive but as a student you get one shot to pick the college you will attend (if you can even get in) and that’s it. Theres practically no switching because you changed your major and another college fits your needs or because you fall in love with another campus. As far as I’m concerned this isn’t just picking a school, its marriage.

Picking the school you want to attend for the next 4+ years of your life aside, is the financing catastrophe-waiting to happen involved with the venture. After All colleges are business nowadays, and their booming. Lack of resources keeps thousand top students out of the colleges of their dreams and increases income inequality in our society. To combat this our government has implemented measures like Pell grants and other need based aid but this does not cover all or even the majority of the expenses and leaves countless students in huge debt at the worst possible time, post graduation. This leads to a major fear for us students. Now it might not be so bad if you had debt but loved your job, you could pay it off eventually right? Well let me paint this picture, you graduate college with $30,000 debt around the Maine average, but hate your job. Every day you go to work for the sole purpose of paying off this debt and you know you can’t go back to school with this much debt already and will be stuck with the occupation for the rest of your life.

Help out a student near you.