Local youth named Student Leaders

The two Maine students selected as Student Leaders have started their paid summer internships with Bank of America to learn workforce skills, leadership and civic engagement with local nonprofits.


Abby Jennings, a rising senior at Cheverus High School, is interning at Boys and Girls Clubs of Southern Maine, while Jamal Osei, a rising senior at Cheverus, is working at United Way of Southern Maine.

Boys and Girls Clubs of Southern Maine provides youth development programs for young people, and Jennings has been supporting the organization’s 21st-century summer program at King Middle School in Portland by helping students with reading and math during the summer. Jennings also helps with Brain Gain, a data-driven program proven to help kids’ reading and literacy development stay on track while they’re away from school during the summer.


Osei has been assisting with multiple projects at the United Way of Southern Maine, whose mission is improving people’s lives by mobilizing the caring power of their community. The organization is uniting around Thrive2027, three 10-year goals to improve education, financial stability and health for everyone in Southern Maine.

The Student Leaders program, which started in 2004, recognizes 300 community-focused juniors and seniors from across the U.S. annually. The Maine-based Student Leaders will engage in a collaborative, mentor-focused project.

“We recognize young adults are the future of our community, which is why programs like Student Leaders are one way we can provide paid opportunities for students to gain job experience while developing a diverse pipeline of talent as they enter the local workforce,” said Bill Williamson, president of Bank of America Maine.

OUT Maine launches youth-run LGBTQ+ radio series

OUT Maine’s Emerging Youth Leaders has launched a podcast series for WERU-FM radio to share their stories and help educate communities about the realities facing LGBTQ+ youth in Maine.

The podcast series LGBTea Time with Chuck is youth-conceived and led. Every single decision – from the name, format and discussion topics, to where it is aired and who hosts each episode – is made by the young emerging leaders.

LGBTea Time is aired from 5:30-6 p.m. the first Thursday of the month. The podcast can also be heard on OUT Maine’s website, outmaine.org. The seven-member team includes seven young adults between the ages of 15 and 19 who sport coffee and tea-themed radio names: Mocha, Jet, Chamomile, Juniper and Elderflower. The team also includes adult volunteers Earl and Java and OUT Maine staff. The youth and volunteers join from across Maine via videoconferencing. Java even joins from a ship, where they work at sea for months at a time, making the group a truly global community.

Join the group of mature, insightful queer youth as they share their experiences to help build understanding of Maine’s LGBTQ+ youth and encourage community across our state at archives.weru.org/category/lgbtea-time.

OUT Maine has an ambitious goal of creating more welcoming and affirming communities for Maine’s diverse queer youth in all of their intersectional identities by changing the very systems that serve them.

Dollars for scholars

The Guy P. Gannett Journalism Scholarship Fund and the Agnes Freyer Gibbs Scholarship Fund of the Maine Community Foundation have awarded $335,000 in scholarships to 16 graduates of Maine high schools. Recipients include Ashley Allen of Yarmouth, Nic Roy of Old Orchard Beach, Samuel Pausman of Falmouth and Molly Whelan of Freeport.

The Gannett and Gibbs scholarships provide renewable support for students majoring in journalism or a field reasonably related. Students receive financial support for graduate and undergraduate studies at schools anywhere in the country, according to a press release.