JAY — Lily Bailey, a recent graduate of Spruce Mountain High School has been named a 2023 Mitchell Scholar.

Scholars are awarded a $10,000 scholarship from the Mitchell Institute towards continuing education plans, receiving $2,500 a year.

Bailey is one of four Franklin County graduates to be so named.

Spruce Mountain High School graduate Lily Bailey of Jay has been named a 2023 Mitchell Scholar. In this file photo, she is seen at center as she stands to receive her diploma from Principal TJ Plourde Sunday afternoon, June 11, at Griffin Field in Livermore Falls. Also seen is education technician Kathy Boivin. Pam Harnden/Livermore Falls Advertiser file photo

“Aside from the scholarship money awarded to support my education, the Mitchell Institute is a supportive and welcoming organization” Bailey wrote in a June 27 email. “Everyone I have talked to has said that it’s a life-changing experience. I am honored to be welcomed into this community.”

In the fall, Bailey will attend Saint Joseph’s College of Maine in Standish, majoring in leadership for sustainable development.

Throughout her high school career, she has taken advantage of multiple activities [possibly too many], Bailey noted in an email Monday, June 26, in response to questions sent by the Livermore Falls Advertiser.


“I started doing theater in fourth grade,” she noted. “The first play I was in was Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, I was a member of the ensemble. I enjoyed it so much that I continued it. I’ve always loved musicals and I was happy to be in some of my favorites: Shrek, Mary Poppins, Little Shop of Horrors, etc. I enjoyed participating in the one-act festival as well. I did that for the past four years and received an all-cast award this year. I was honored this year with the dedication of the chair lift I advocated for on the stage.”

Bailey joined Spruce Mountain’s robotics team as a freshman. “Sadly, COVID-19 made it so we never got a chance to compete,” she wrote. “I was able to join Blue Crew my junior year and quickly became the Entrepreneurship Captain. We won several awards in areas that I was heavily involved in, including a Judges’ Award for our integration of accessibility throughout the program.

“As someone who uses a wheelchair, it meant the world to me to see these changes and earn recognition for helping enact it.”

Bailey joined the math team her sophomore year, but had to give it up due to a full schedule, she noted. “I joined Girls Who Code and Gender-Sexuality Alliance, but I had to take less of a role in those because I needed time for homework,” she continued. “I was chosen for the Olympia Snowe’s Women’s Leadership Institute and inducted into the National Honors Society.”

Bailey is an avid volunteer, helping at the Jay Niles Memorial Library makerspace, for which she developed an app for safety training. “I also did some work for the National Science Foundation, including presenting statewide and nationally about inclusivity in STEM,” she wrote. “I also volunteered to mentor FIRST Lego League at the middle school for three years.”

Bailey also rides horses, haven taken lessons since she was three. “Starting at the age of nine, I rode in Special Olympics for four years,” she noted.

The following information was provided in a release:
The Mitchell Institute is a Maine-based nonprofit scholarship and research organization founded by Senator George J. Mitchell to improve college outcomes for students from every community in Maine. In addition to the scholarship, the 166 recipients of the Mitchell Scholarship represent every public high school in Maine will each receive ongoing personal, academic and professional support.
Other students from Franklin County named 2023 Mitchell Scholars are Katelyn Daggett, Mt. Blue High School; Abigail Wilcox, Mt. Abram High School and Daxxtyn Williams, Rangeley Lakes Regional School.
The Mitchell Institute community includes more than 3,000 alumni who mentor Mitchell Scholars and hundreds of donors whose philanthropic investments continue to sustain the Institute’s ability to fund scholars. Throughout college and the years following, the new Mitchell Scholars will have opportunities to engage with Mitchell Institute programs and resources focusing on financial assistance, leadership training, and academic and career support.
The new class of 166 Mitchell Scholars will join 437 currently enrolled scholars, who collectively will receive more than $5 million in awards from the Mitchell Institute during their college careers.
The 2023 scholar cohort has also overcome several barriers to college access; 58% of the newest cohort of Mitchell Scholars will be the first in their families to attend a four-year college, and 84% are from families with incomes below Maine’s median. With financial and programmatic support from the Mitchell Institute, 89% of scholars complete college and achieve a degree, compared with 62% nationally, and more than 90% earn all A’s and B’s in their college courses.
Jared Cash, president and CEO of the Mitchell Institute said, “Each scholar represents the best of our great state and reflects Senator Mitchell’s vision of investing in young people so they, in turn, can strengthen their communities.”
Kim Gustafson, scholarship director at the Mitchell Institute, oversaw the scholarship selection committee’s holistic review of 1,467 Mitchell Scholarship applications in 2023 that considered high school students’ academic potential, community impact, and degree of financial need.
“It is an honor for the selection committee to explore the many facets of each application through multiple rounds of our evaluation process,” Gustafson said. “Every candidate presents a unique story, and the committee considers potential just as much as achievement. The final selection round always proves to be immensely challenging since there is an abundance of deserving young leaders from every corner of our state.”

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