More than 50 students signed up for Southern Maine Community College’s annual Summer Academy, now in its fifth year. Contributed

SMCC Summer Academy jump-starts college success

Dozens of recent high school graduates are participating in Southern Maine Community College’s fifth annual Summer Academy student success program, allowing them to get a jump start on their college careers.

Fifty-five students are enrolled in the three-week intensive prep program that introduces students to college life, prepares them for college-level coursework and guides them in setting career and academic goals. The program runs through July 25.

Maine residents are eligible for free tuition and priority consideration for scholarships based on financial need.

Ahmed Hameed, of Portland, decided to enroll in Summer Academy to improve his writing and his English, as well as to make friends and get a feel for SMCC before the fall semester starts Aug. 26. Hameed is originally from Iraq and plans to enroll in SMCC’s Respiratory Therapy degree program.

“I said if I want to start something, let’s start it right,” he said about coming to SMCC.

Summer Academy is one of several programs at SMCC that provide support and academic guidance aimed at student success. SMCC’s Path to Graduation program helps first-year college students connect with their college peers and set their education and career goals. The College’s TRIO Student Support Services provides support for low-income, first-generation or disabled students from the first day of college through graduation.

Yarmouth girl testifies before congressional committee

At the invitation of U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, Ruby Anderson a 9-year-old girl from Yarmouth, testified at an Aging Committee hearing titled “Redefining Reality: How the Special Diabetes Program is Changing the Lives of Americans with Type 1 Diabetes.”  Collins is the chairwoman of the Aging Committee and the founder and co-chair of the Senate Diabetes Caucus.

Ruby Anderson, center, recently testified before a congressional committee about her life with diabetes. From left are her grandfather, Greg Russell, her mother, Kelly Anderson, and Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine. Contributed

The hearing was held in conjunction with the JDRF Children’s Congress, a biennial event that began in 1999.  Approximately 165 Children’s Congress delegates ages 4-17 from all 50 states attended the hearing.

Ruby told the committee that she plans to become a scientist to research Type 1 diabetes when she grows up.

“And if they haven’t found a cure for diabetes by then, I will,” Ruby said.  “And when we have a cure, I’m going to have a party and invite everyone in the whole entire world. Sen. Collins, you will be first on my list.”

The hearing focused on the impact of Type 1 diabetes on individuals and their families at all ages, recent advances and promising opportunities in Type 1 diabetes research, and the need to renew the Special Diabetes Program before September 30th in order to accelerate new treatments, more effective management technologies, and ultimately a cure.

“I wish my diabetes would just disappear,” Ruby said. “And Senators, I don’t want my brother or sister to get T1D.”

Tess Haller, a Cape Elizabeth native, has been awarded a summer internship in the Washington, D.C., office of Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine. Haller is a 2016 graduate of Cape Elizabeth High School and a rising senior at Assumption College in Worcester, Massachusetts, where she is studying political science. U.S. Senate Photographic Studio

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