AUGUSTA – Maine Campus Compact awarded six Maine college students the Heart and Soul Award on the basis of outstanding contributions in community service, service-learning and/or activism.

Honorees will receive their awards as part of a daylong showcase of Maine’s college students’ civic engagement at the Maine State House Hall of Flags at 11 a.m. April 13.

University of Maine at Farmington junior Laurie Tranten of Kingfield is the co-director and creator of the GirlsTalk/Teen Voices program, a community-based mentoring program. GirlsTalk/Teen Voice partners university students and professional women with girls in grades fifth through eighth from the Kingfield and Phillips elementary schools. Tranten’s efforts have enabled young girls to learn about and discuss issues such as multiculturalism, self esteem, health and gender roles in a positive environment.

Mary Cameron of Bangor, a senior at the University of Southern Maine, Gorham, spent five months hiking the Appalachian Trial as a fund-raiser for the Maine Alzheimer’s Association. Cameron raised more than $8,600, which she donated to the Maine Alzheimer’s Association on behalf of her grandmother. She has also volunteered more than 200 hours by helping the association with administrative and organizational tasks.

Saint Joseph’s College sophomore Matt Crellin of Scarborough serves as a student leader and organizer for the college Spring Break Workfest program. For the last two years Crellin has led groups of students, faculty and staff on service trips to the Christian Appalachia Project in Louisa, Ky. Participants assisted people living in rural poverty through construction and rehabilitation efforts.

Casey Harris of Bangor, a junior at the University of Maine at Augusta-Bangor campus, serves with Youth Civic Action Partnership, a project aimed at partnering with local high school students to address social issues that they deem important. In addition, Harris has worked with fellow students to bring dialogues to his campus on issues that students at the Bangor campus face, such as financial pressure and child care.

Meghan Thornton of Shaker Heights, Ohio, a junior at Bates College, is a volunteer for youth programs at the Hillview Housing Development in Lewiston. Thornton coordinated an after-school program, co-led a Girl Scout Troop and ran a summer program for the children of Hillview residents. Her volunteer work has brought tutoring, arts and crafts, field trips and a variety of other educational and fun activities to children of Hillview.

Elliott Wright of Kings Mountain, N.C., a senior at Bowdoin College, has used his passion for the environment to serve locally and globally. Wright raised more than $1,200, which he used to build a library for a school in Ladakh, India. He also spent the summer teaching science and English to the children in Ladakh. Wright continues to use his teaching experiences from India, back in Brunswick, as a Teaching Fellow at the Longfellow Elementary School, where he has created a curriculum for environmental education for the first-grade classrooms.

Maine Campus Compact is a statewide coalition of college and university presidents established to encourage and enhance campus engagement in the community. The Student Heart and Soul Award is presented annually to undergraduates who have demonstrated a depth and breadth of involvement in community service, service-learning and/or activism. The students have achieved significant results through involvement and have demonstrated leadership and innovation on their campus and in the community.


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