Trekkers has received a donation from the Rockland Festival Corporation in support of the College/Career Exploration program for 11th grade students. The goal of this 5-month program is to help students identify and learn more about their post-secondary options and career interests. In addition to exploring over 20 colleges, art schools and trade schools from Maine to Pennsylvania, students in this program also gain insight into the college application process and discuss topics such as financial aid and return on investment. During a program-culminating expedition, the students actively compare and contrast all the colleges and campuses they visit. With this information, they prepare a list of criteria that is most important in their own college selection process.
Trekkers’ College/Career Exploration has proven to be one of the most successful programs the organization offers. Historically, 72% of the students enrolled in Trekkers pursue some sort of post-secondary education, compared to 62% of their peers. The program with its weeklong expedition is offered to 11th graders Trekkers each year. This year’s students will begin meeting in November to start selecting the schools and careers of interest they want to explore. The expedition for students and mentors will take place during school vacation in April. The donation from the Rockland Festival Corporation will help pay for expenses related to this 10-day educational expedition.
“Everyone at Trekkers is very grateful to the Rockland Festival Corporation for their continued support of our students and our expanding program. This donation will help us show youth how to pursue and achieve their post-secondary dreams,” stated Executive Director, Don Carpenter. “The Rockland Festival Corporation shares our devotion to young people. They invest in the future of our local community by supporting programs such as Trekkers. We cannot thank them enough for supporting our students through this generous gift.”
Maine Lobster Festival President, Chuck Kruger, said of the donation, ““The Maine Lobster Festival is very pleased to support the good work of Trekkers. This contribution is perfectly in line with our mission as a community Festival.”
In addition to the College/Career Exploration, this year’s 11th grade Trekkers will also have the opportunity to join the 2-year Leadership Program and/or participate in a professional development/internship program called SEED (Success through Employment & Educational Development). The Leadership Program is a collaborative effort between Trekkers and Kieve-Wavus Leadership School in Nobleboro. Through four experiential learning weekend retreats and ongoing monthly discussions, students will learn leadership skills and become equipped to participate as student leaders on expeditions with their younger counterparts. Students who participate in the SEED internship program will create a resume, learn the meaning of professionalism and discuss employer expectations. SEED helps students identify their career passions and then connects them with local businesses/organizations for a 40-hour paid internship experience. Trekkers’ goal for its 11th grade programs is to provide students with a strong platform for success after high school, no matter which path they choose.
Trekkers is a non-profit outdoor-based mentoring program that connects young people with caring adults through expeditionary learning, community service and adventure-based education. This year, Trekkers will serve more than 200 students from 7th through 12th grades from the communities of Cushing, Owls Head, Rockland, South Thomaston, St. George and Thomaston. For more information about Trekkers or its programs, visit www.trekkers.org or call (207) 594-5095.