I agree entirely with the recent column by Sen. George Mitchell and John T. Gorman Foundation President Tony Cipollone (Maine Voices, May 25) on our state’s obligation to make sure our youth get on the right track, especially the 43,000 Maine kids living in poverty who face significant barriers to reaching their full potential.

There are multiple reasons why we as a state cannot let any child slip through the cracks. Access to opportunities today will help determine a child’s ability to succeed in school and life, to contribute to the strength of their communities and to enhance the well-being of their families for generations to come. Their personal success is also a key determinant of Maine’s economic success.

Programs like the Mitchell Institute Promise Scholars are key to strengthening Maine’s families, communities, workforce and economy. So, too, is heeding the advice from the recent John T. Gorman Foundation policy brief calling on state policymakers to coordinate support for at-risk youth. When aligned with programs like MaineSpark, for instance – a collaborative initiative involving Maine education and business leaders that seeks to increase the educational attainment of Maine people – Maine can make significant progress in positioning our citizens and economy for success.

Efforts to help build the foundations and create the opportunities needed by many of our youth, especially at-risk kids, deserve our individual support and the support of Maine’s policymakers. Our youth are critical to Maine’s future. They are Maine’s future. Let’s do everything we can to make it a bright future for all.

Ed Cervone


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