NEWRY – Project Opportunity received its annual donation from Sunday River, a $30,000 contribution that was called the “backbone” of the program that provides scholarships and grants to students in the Bethel region.

General Manager Dana Bullen awarded the check to Executive Director Ted Davis in a recent meeting. Bullen, whose father and wife are both educators, said, “We’re proud to provide continue to this important program founded here by the resort. It’s important as a large employer in the region to do our part. By helping young people aspire, we’re helping our community as a whole.”

Project Opportunity is a local grant and scholarship program designed as an incentive for students to improve their academic standing and participation in school activities. Students accumulate points during their four years of high school, which allows late bloomers as well an opportunity to earn scholarships.

The program was founded in 1988 by Leslie B. Otten, former founder and owner Sunday River and the American Skiing Co. At the time of its inception, Dr. William O’Brien of Virginia also provided a $50,000 contribution after crediting teachers in Bethel with his success.

Davis, a longtime principal at Telstar High School and Junior High School, provided Bullen with recent examples of how the program has helped local students. He said Sunday River’s continued support is what allows Project Opportunity to thrive.

The board of directors conducts other fund-raisers to supplement the program, including an annual appeal that is sent to all Telstar graduates. And most recently, the program was the recipient of a grant to assist students with preparation for college entrance exams.

The board will conduct a community outreach campaign to educate students and their parents about the many resources available to pursue post-secondary education.

Last spring, Project Opportunity awarded 32 Telstar High School graduates a total of nearly $19,000 in scholarship for their post-secondary education.

The program also provides grants to Telstar students of any grade level who seek to enrich their educational experience through programs and courses. The grants are awarded through an application process and approved by a board of directors comprised of community members.

Since its inception, Project Opportunity has provided $235,000 in scholarship and grants to Telstar students.

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