September 5, 2010

Society notebook: Heartfelt thanks

SMCC throws a party for business partners helping to 'bridge the gap' between demand and the consequences of a down economy.

By Avery Yale Kamila
Staff Writer

(Continued from page 1)

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Ralph Good of Wells Fargo, who serves on SMCC’s Foundation Board, Beth Shorr, executive director of the Maine Community College System Foundation, Chris Emmons, president of Gorham Savings, and Carolyn Cianchette, SMCC’s executive director of communications and development.

Photos by Avery Yale Kamila/Staff Writer

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Ian Kopp, Ken Priest and Susan Priest, all with Kenway Corp.

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"It doesn't need to be connected to their job," Smith said. "It just needs to be their dream."

The Portland and South Portland school systems are also partnering with the college.

"The community college system has a liberal arts program where the first two years can be transferred" to a four-year school, Portland Superintendent James Morse told me. "SMCC is part of the way we're convincing kids to go to college."

The collaboration is similar in South Portland.

"We have a joint program for college aspirations," said South Portland's Superintendent Suzanne Godin.

She said many students for whom English is not their first language have been able to do early college course work through SMCC.

Party guests also got to hear from SMCC student Ater Ater. Now in his second year in the school's criminal justice program, Ater came to the U.S. as a child when his family fled civil war in Sudan. He attends SMCC on the James Angelo Memorial Scholarship, given in honor of a Mercy Hospital security guard who had hoped to pursue a criminal justice career before he was killed while on duty. This past summer Ater participated in the Portland Police Department's summer cadet program.

"The teachers here are organized and always open to questions," Ater said. "I ask a lot of questions. Because of the education I'm receiving here, I'm able to take my textbook knowledge and see how it's applied at the Portland Police Department."

Ater concluded his remarks by encouraging party guests to make monetary donations to the college.

When Ortiz thanked Ater for his remarks, he said, "He's going to be a great president because he knows how to make the ask." 

Staff Writer Avery Yale Kamila can be contacted at 791-6297 or at:


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Additional Photos

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Melissa Metivier and Dave Reinheimer, who are both with Harriman Architects & Engineers.

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State Rep. Jane Knapp, SMCC President James Ortiz and state Rep. Anne Haskell.


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