FARMINGTON — Bridgette Gilbert, the School Resource Officer at RSU 9, has built a career in law enforcement by realizing her dream and taking advantage of local opportunities for scholarship and assistance to help overcome financial and academic challenges.

Like many others in this community, she started taking college classes shortly after graduating from high school and had to stop for financial and personal reasons. She realized doors were beginning to open when she was able to resume taking classes and saw that financial assistance was available.

Gilbert needed additional financial resources, so she applied for and received several scholarships through the Franklin County Community College Network, for costs above tuition, such as for books, computers and other supplies. She is taking advantage of math assistance through Adult Education to ensure the best possible success.

With these resources, which include more than $1,300 in scholarships, five years of hard work and lots of support from her family, employer and friends, she plans to graduate in May, 2016, with an Associate Degree in Criminal Justice from Central Maine Community College. Her plans are to continue her education and career path as more doors open up and she steps through.

“I want to be the best person I can be and do the best that I can. It is hard to ask for help, but in order to achieve my goals, sometimes I needed to ask for a little help. Don’t let the lack of money be a barrier when thinking about your education, as there is a lot of support from different organizations. If you don’t accept the support, you may regret it later. I ‘give back’ in other ways when someone I know needs help. You could too. It all comes back around.”

This year the Network has awarded $11,000 in scholarships. The deadline for the scholarships through the Franklin County Community College Network is Dec. 18. For more information, email: [email protected] or go to: Scholarships are supported by the Maine Community Foundation.

Central Maine Community Classes are offered each semester in Franklin County, with enrollment beginning in November.

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