FARMINGTON — The Bangor Savings Bank Foundation is providing a second three-year grant of $45,000 to the University of Maine’s Partnership for Civic Advancement, the university has announced.

“We are indeed proud of the considerable accomplishments of the UMF Partnership for Civic Advancement,” Kathryn A. Foster, UMF president, said, “and deeply grateful for the Bangor Savings Bank Foundation’s valued support of the community-university partnerships we have formed to take our students beyond our campus and immerse them in learning experiences that address local, regional, state and global issues under the guidance of their faculty and community mentors.”

The Partnership for Civic Advancement goal is to engage students in meaningful community-based activities. These are designed in collaboration with the western Maine community to address community needs and economic and community development priorities and with students and faculty to achieve specific learning objectives of the students.

“The Bangor Savings Bank Foundation is proud to provide major support for the University of Maine at Farmington’s Partnership for Civic Advancement,” Yellow Light Breen, executive vice president and chief strategic officer for Bangor Savings Bank, said. “Like Bangor Savings Bank, UMF is committed to making a difference in the broader community and enabling its students to do so as part of their learning experience. The program has been a tremendous success, impacting dozens of community and business organizations throughout the region, in addition to the students and the university, and at the same time has become a signature program in Western Maine for Bangor Savings.”

The community-based student internship program is a key component of the partnership, matching the skills and interests of undergraduate student interns and faculty mentors with the needs of small businesses and community organizations. Through these internships, students gain valuable work and life experiences and develop the professional, civic and leadership skills they need, while small businesses and community organizations have access to important resources that help them be successful, university officials said.

Since its launch in 2012, the program has grown by more than 300 percent, and new components have been initiated, including volunteerism and leadership training and education.

“This significant continuation award from the Bangor Savings Bank Foundation will provide the needed scholarship support to permit our most committed students to work with various community organizations, agencies and businesses to advance the priorities of our community partners, while the students acquire a range of new educational, professional, and leadership skills,” Celeste Branham, UMF vice president for student and community services, said.

Bangor Savings Bank Foundation’s original grant of $45,000, made in December 2011, was instrumental in helping fund the internship program and leveraging support from other foundations and donors. Bangor Savings Bank will continue to sponsor the annual event recognizing the contributions that student interns, their faculty mentors and their partnering businesses and organizations have made to the community.

“This program has been incredibly important to the students participating as well as to the business and nonprofit organizations who have taken advantage of intern availability,” said Becky Davis Allen, vice president and regional senior retail lending specialist for Bangor Savings Bank in Farmington and a member of UMF’s Board of Visitors. “The growth and deepening of the scope of the program tells me how committed UMF is to making this a rich and meaningful experience for the students.  And, the students tell us time and time again how instrumental the opportunity is to helping them secure employment after graduation. In this tough economy, we need our students to have an advantage in the market and to realize there are interesting, challenging and rewarding career opportunities right here in Maine.”


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