At high school senior award ceremonies and graduations statewide, a beautiful thing happened once again this year: Mitchell Scholars who are now enrolled in college came home to present the Mitchell Scholarship to the 2023 recipients and welcome them to the Mitchell Institute community.
And judging from the smiles on the faces of the new and returning Mitchell Scholars below, being personally shepherded into the Mitchell Scholar fold in front of friends, family, and high school classmates is kind of awesome.
Ask any of the currently enrolled Mitchell Scholars why they returned to their high schools to do the honors, and most will tell you that it’s because the Mitchell Scholar who graduated a year ahead of them did the same thing for them — and because the Mitchell Scholar community is something to be revered and nurtured.
That’s how it was for Tom Gingras (below center), the 2022 Mitchell Scholar from Gardiner Area High School, who came home from a year at the University of Maine at Farmington to usher Sydney Dayken (below left) and Dylan Staples (below right) into the Mitchell Scholar community.
“My motivation for presenting the scholarship was to preserve the feeling of camaraderie that I felt when I won the scholarship,” Gingras said. “Being able to present the scholarship to some of my former peers will be something that I cherish for years to come.”
Gingras knows how special it is to be presented with the Mitchell Scholarship by a peer because his good friend Tucker Boudreau (below right), the 2021 Scholar from GAHS, delivered the life-changing surprise to him one year ago.
“It’s important because it strengthens the bond between Scholars,” Gingras said. “It becomes more familial when the Scholarship is presented by someone you know.”
Paul-Alexandre Liwanga (below right), the 2022 Mitchell Scholar from Baxter Academy for Technology and Science, agrees. He attended his high school’s senior award ceremony to present the Mitchell Scholarship to BA’s 2023 recipient, Emma Bennett (below left).
“It’s important for Mitchell Scholars to know they are part of a community because knowing that you have people to support you truly gives you some ease,” said Liwanga, who is a rising sophomore Sports Management major at the University of Southern Maine. “There was an older Mitchell Scholar, Ella Fontaine, who presented me with the Scholarship. It really was an honor to receive it from her in front of my peers and family.”
To those Mitchell Scholars who were able to keep the tradition alive this year, we at the Mitchell Institute say thank you for making the presentation of the Mitchell Scholarship at your high school that much more celebrated. And we are grateful to you for welcoming the 2023 Mitchell Scholars into the family.
To the 2023 Mitchell Scholars, we say congratulations on receiving the coveted scholarship along with the wraparound supports that will enhance your undergraduate experience and help position you for success far beyond college. We cannot wait to meet you at the Welcome Celebration and have you join us for MILE I Weekend at Baxter State Park in early October.
By way of the presenting Mitchell Scholars and high school officials, we share below the 2023 award ceremony photos that we have received to date, in the order we received them. (Submissions emailed after late June will be added in the order they are received.)
Makenna Powell (left), the 2022 Mitchell Scholar from Gray-New Gloucester High School and rising sophomore nursing major at Boston College, attended the GNGHS senior award ceremony to personally congratulate Teada Chhem, the 2023 Mitchell Scholar who is bound for Vassar College this fall.
Bobby Hallam (center), the 2022 Mitchell Scholar from Fryeburg Academy, returned to his high school alma mater to congratulate Fryeburg’s new 2023 Mitchell Scholars, Polly Peirce (left), who is bound for Emmanuel College, and Gabe McKenney (right), who is headed to the University of Maine.
Lorie Ninganza (center), the 2022 Mitchell Scholar from Lewiston High School and rising sophomore at Wheaton College, attended the LHS senior award ceremony to personally congratulate new Mitchell Scholars Alexandria Gutshall (left) and Asha Abdisamad.
When one of your teachers is a Mitchell Scholar and personally welcomes you to the Mitchell Scholar community, it’s extra special. That’s how it was at the Skowhegan Area High School scholarship award night, when Isaac Michaud, the 2015 Mitchell Scholar from Presque Isle High School and member of the SAHS social studies faculty, congratulated Maddy Thorndike and Matthew Johnson on being named 2023 Mitchell Scholars. As Michaud did, Thorndike will be attending the University of Maine at Farmington in the fall, while Johnson is headed to Assumption University.
Devyn Robinson, the 2023 Mitchell Scholar from Hermon High School, is headed to the University of Maine in the fall.
Tristan Seavey (right), the 2022 Mitchell Scholar from Calais Middle/High School and History major at Bates College, congratulates and welcomes the school’s 2023 Scholars, Anna Li (left) and Tia Murphy (center).
Marissa Morgans (left), the 2022 Mitchell Scholar from Oak Hill High School and English Education major at the University of Southern Maine, presents the school’s 2023 Scholar, Alexis Spencer, with her Mitchell Scholarship award. Spencer will be attending Thomas College in the fall.
Sara Robinson (not pictured), the 2022 Mitchell Scholar from Greely High School and Biomed/Pre-Med major at the University of New England, presented the Mitchell Scholarship to Greely’s 2023 Scholar, Adele Weaver (pictured above).
The two 2023 Mitchell Scholars from Stearns High School, Cote Briggs (left) and Sydney Campbell, shared the spotlight before classmates, families, and friends.
Freeport High School’s 2023 Mitchell Scholars, Lily Johnson (left) and Alden Rice.
Mt. Blue High School’s 2023 Mitchell Scholar, Katelyn Daggett.
Deklin Fitzgerald, the 2022 Mitchell Scholar from Oceanside High School, was on hand this year to present the school’s 2023 recipients, Benjamin Jones (left) and Adelaide Hendricks with their Scholarship certificates. Jones plans to attend Eastern Maine Community College in the fall, and Hendricks is bound for the University of Southern Maine.
Keegan Tripp, the 2022 Mitchell Scholar from Lee Academy and Political Science major at the University of Maine (right), returned to the 2023 Lee graduation ceremony to present the Mitchell Scholarship to this year’s recipient, Zac Holt, who will be attending the University of Maine at Farmington in the fall.
Ella Ryan (right), the 2022 Mitchell Scholar from Camden Hills Regional High School and rising sophomore at Barnard College, attended the school’s senior award ceremony and graduation to present the Mitchell Scholarship to the 2023 recipient, Willow McConochie. McConochie will attend the University of Maine in the fall.
The 2023 Mitchell Scholars from Penquis Valley High School, Imaan Ali (left) and Frederick Shaw.
Maura Stottler (right), the 2014 Mitchell Scholar from Hall-Dale High School and University of New England graduate, works at Buckfield Junior-Senior High School as an athletic trainer. “It was great to have one of my student-athletes selected!” she said of the school’s 2023 Mitchell Scholar, Emma Stevens-Belanger. Stevens-Belanger will attend the University of Southern Maine in the fall.
Tionie Henry (center), the 2022 Mitchell Scholar from Mount Desert Island High School and rising sophomore Nursing major at Husson University, returned to her high school alma mater to present the Mitchell Scholarship to the school’s two 2023 recipients, Moses Lincoln (left) and Shakhnoza Mirzoyeva (right).
Alexis Richards (left), the 2023 Mitchell Scholar from Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School, receives her Scholarship certificate from the school’s director of guidance, Erin Flynn.
At Easton Junior/Senior High School, 2022 Mitchell Scholar Emma Lamoreau (right), a rising second-year Nursing student at Northern Maine Community College, presented the Mitchell Scholarship to Jenna Cochran, the school’s 2023 recipient. Cochran plans to attend the University of Maine in the fall.
Trishelle Ames, the 2023 Mitchell Scholar from Medomak Valley High School.
At Monmouth Academy, 2022 Mitchell Scholar Mia Luce (right), a rising second-year Criminal Justice major at Husson University, presented the Mitchell Scholarship to Olivia Degen, the school’s 2023 recipient. Degen plans to attend Dickinson College in the fall.
At Bangor High School’s graduation ceremony, Dellana Kessler, the Rams’ 2023 Mitchell Scholar, came to the stage to receive her certificate from Marwa Hassanien (left), Chair of the Bangor School Committee, and James Tager, Bangor Superintendent of Schools. Kessler plans to attend the University of Maine in the fall.
At Maine Arts Academy in Augusta, Sophia McFadden (left), the school’s 2022 Mitchell Scholar and rising sophomore Music Education major at the University of Southern Maine, presented the Scholarship to the 2023 recipient, Kadence Reynolds, who plans to attend Husson University in the fall.
At Lawrence High School’s Scholarship Breakfast, Michael Brown (left), the Bulldogs’ 2022 Mitchell Scholar and rising sophomore Political Science major at the University of Southern Maine, presented the Mitchell Scholarship to Alonna Battis, who plans to attend the University of New England in the fall.