I read with interest and appreciation the Sun Journal story, “More Somali students graduate, find success” (June 12).
At the University of Maine at Augusta, we, too, have been impressed with the efforts of Lewiston High School faculty and staff in helping Somali students succeed. I would especially like to single out one staff person not mentioned in your story: JoAnne Dowd, the high school’s aspirations coordinator.
Last year, Dowd sent more than 20 students, including Somali students, to UMA’s YoUMA summer program. Through two one-week sessions, YoUMA provides high school students with a taste of what college is like through classes taught by our faculty, as well as field trips and large group sessions.
The YoUMA program was so rewarding for the Lewiston students that Dowd has arranged to send more students to this summer’s two sessions held the last week of July and the first week of August.
I congratulate JoAnne Dowd and everyone at Lewiston High School for a job well done in helping all its students to succeed in high school and beyond.
Michael Cooley, UMA YoUMA Coordinator, Augusta