Cumberland student chosen for exclusive study abroad program

Nola Gallo, a Greely High School senior from Cumberland, has been awarded the Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange scholarship for the 2021-2022 academic year.


Pandemic conditions permitting, Gallo will leave in late August to spend the year in Germany living with a host family, attending a German high school and participating in language learning and cultural immersion to gain a better understanding of local culture, language and everyday life.

Gallo is scheduled to return in June 2022.

CBYX is a bilateral exchange program co-sponsored by the U.S. Department of State and German Bundestag (parliament). Each year, as a U.S. Department of State partner, AFS-USA awards the fully funded scholarship to 50 high-achieving high school students from 11 states in the Northeast to participate in a cultural immersion experience. The program was created to foster mutual understanding and strengthen ties between Germany and the U.S. through citizen diplomacy. German students also come to live and study in the U.S.

AFS-USA honors the legacy of its founders – volunteer WWI and WWII American Field Service ambulance drivers  – who emerged from the wars with a mission to help prevent future conflict through cultural exchange and understanding.

Maine DOE launches web section to support LBGTQ+ youth

The Maine Department of Education has launched a new website section devoted to improving school climate and support of LGBTQ+ students in Maine.


The new website section highlights the DOE’s commitment to supporting “all LGBTQ+ identifying, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, gender queer and questioning students, families, and school staff.” Log on to to find legal requirements, resources and best practices for students, schools, parents and communities seeking to make Maine more welcoming and affirming.

OUT Maine, a nonprofit that works statewide to advocate for Maine’s LGBTQ+ youth, and GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders, a New England-based legal justice and advocacy organization, collaborated in the effort for more than a year.

The organizations commended the DOE’s commitment to ensuring a fair and welcoming educational environment for all Maine students.

“We are thrilled with and grateful for DOE’s strong statement of support for LGBTQ+ youth in Maine schools,” said Jeanne Dooley (she/her), executive director of OUT Maine. “The thoughtful collection of resources and specific guidance for school districts will be extremely helpful to schools that have been seeking DOE leadership on laws and best practices.”

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