FARMINGTON – University of Maine Farmington Upward Bound Program Director Lynn Ploof-Davis of Wilton is the 2004-2005 recipient of Maine Educational Opportunity Association’s Dory Award. She was honored at the conference held early in January at Sugarloaf/USA.

The award was established in the name of Doris (Dory) Vladimiroff, director of Upward Bound at Bowdoin College from 1967 to her retirement in 1992.

During her tenure at Bowdoin, Vladimiroff worked at the state, regional and national levels for economically disadvantaged Maine teenagers. She was instrumental in improving the academic performance of many Maine high school students, thereby motivating them to enroll and find success in higher education.

Since its establishment in the mid-1990s, recipients of the Dory Award have been honored for their perspective, one which opens out to receive, include and affirm others. They are people who recognize the transformational value of action when shaped by an individual of intelligence, inventiveness and an aptitude for the fantastic.

Presenting the award was Claire Nelson, director of UMF’s TRiO programs, who said, “What sets Lynn apart is her vision and tireless effort to raise awareness outside of our TRiO community of the plight of Maine’s underserved low-income, first-generation students.”

“Lynn sees the big picture and wants to alter the perception of who can succeed and what kind of support they will need to do so,” said Nelson. “Dory Vladimiroff was instrumental in kindling in Lynn the desire to fight the good fight. Lynn has responded to the challenge, and her actions would make Dory proud.”

As UMF’s Upward Bound director, Ploof-Davis was recently cited by Russ Rufino from the U.S. Department of Education as being “aggressively committed” to improving the lives of her students in Maine.

In addition to providing leadership for her staff and overseeing the implementation of program activities for 55 high school students, she has taken her cause to the arena of public policy.

Ploof-Davis’ grassroots advocacy has included organizing a legislative summit for Upward Bound summer programs, helping to raise the awareness of Maine’s underserved youth at the state policy-making level.

She serves on the board of directors for the New England Education Opportunity Association, is a member of the steering committee for the Institute on Rural Poverty, and pursues agencies such as MELMAC and the Maine Compact, advocating for the TRiO mission.

UMF’s Upward Bound Program is one of Maine’s 18 federal TRiO projects. The projects were established in the 1960s under the Economic Opportunity Act to prepare disadvantaged students for successful entry into and completion of post-secondary education. Today TRiO programs offer academic support to more than 6,000 students in Maine from the middle school to post-secondary levels.

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