MEXICO — Nine students from RSU 10 were awarded $100 scholarships at the district’s first College Aspirations Scholarship Award ceremony Thursday night.
Barbara Radmore, director of the Western Foothills Kids Association, who helped bring the program to the area, said thinking about college and plans for the future shouldn’t wait until high school.
“It’s too late,” she said Friday, “for both considering college and saving to attend.”
About 50 parents and other family members, and school administrators attended the ceremony at Region 9 School of Applied Technology. Bob Stuart, a representative from the nonprofit Maine College Circle program handed out the awards.
A total of 36 third- through sixth-graders competed for the honor by writing an essay on what they would like to be when they become adults.
Scholarship winners were: Noah Breton, MacKenzie Downs and Mary Ellen LeDuc, all from Rumford Elementary School; Simon Burch, Zack Grover, Seneca Jacobs and Norliyana Menes from Hartford-Sumner Elementary School in Sumner; Anthony Frost from Meroby Elementary School in Mexico; and Bridget Rowley from Dirigo Middle School in Dixfield.
Students wrote of their hopes to pursue careers in anthropology, pediatric medicine, art, professional skateboarding, robotics, culinary arts and veterinary medicine.
They also wrote of the possible colleges they’d like to attend. In Maine, those included Bowdoin, Bates, Colby and the University of Maine, and others. Others mentioned were in Michigan, California, Florida and Colorado.
The program has taken place in several other districts throughout Maine as one way to get children thinking about their futures.
Radmore said the Maine College Circle program will be offered again this year for any RSU 10 elementary and middle school students, as well as students at Holy Savior School in Rumford.
Stuart will begin making presentations for the essay competition Jan. 30 at Rumford Elementary School; Jan. 31 at Hartford-Sumner Elementary School; and Feb. 1 at Meroby Elementary School.
Radmore said scholarship money was donated by the Dead River Co., John and Christina Ferland, and the Oxford Federal Credit Union.
“The ceremony was so inspiring,” she said.