Portland Public Schools students named National Merit semifinalists

Portland High School senior Theresa Conroy and Deering High School senior Jove Emmons have been named semifinalists in the 2022 National Merit Scholarship Program. The students now have the opportunity to compete for about 7,500 National Merit Scholarships worth nearly $30 million that will be offered next spring.

Congratulations to these outstanding students!” Superintendent Xavier Botana said. “I credit not only Theresa and Jove for their diligence and hard work, but also their teachers and other supporters, including their families, for helping them achieve this highly deserved recognition. These students are exemplars of the high-quality education offered at our high schools, and I wish them the best as they continue on in this competition.”

The two students are among 74 Maine seniors named as semifinalists in the 2022 contest. There are approximately 16,000 semifinalists nationwide. The nationwide pool of semifinalists represents less than 1% of U.S. high school seniors and includes the highest-scoring entrants in each state.

Yellow Tulip Project creates back-to-school care kits

While returning to school this fall after social isolation and online classrooms will be exciting for some, it will undoubtedly be strange and hard for many others. The CDC has declared a mental health crisis in the COVID-era, which Yellow Tulip Project believes must be addressed with the same urgency as the pandemic.

Written by youth for youth, YTP’s Back-to-School Care Kits are intended to help young people re-enter with nonjudgmental, adaptable tools and self-care advice. The Care Kits were created with the trained lens of youth mental health warriors who know the effects of COVID-era anxiety inside and out. See theyellowtulipproject.org/resources to download a PDF.

The Yellow Tulip Project focuses on smashing the stigma that surrounds mental illness and creating a space for determined youth to eradicate stigma, build community and inspire productive conversations about how to combat the rising rates of suicide.

LearningWorks names outstanding student


Mikey Brunell received the Outstanding Student of the Year Award for his dedication and for completing every aspect of the program at the highest level when LearningWorks YouthBuild graduated 24 students in a ceremony at Deering Oaks Park this summer. Four students out of 24 graduated with honors for completing community service and on-the-job training as well as earning every trade certification offered by the program.

Cumberland student interns for Collins


Eben Kiesow, a Cumberland native, served as a summer intern in U.S. Sen. Susan Collins’ Augusta Constituent Service Center this summer. He is the son of Bert and Jaime Kiesow.

Kiesow is a rising senior at Roger Williams University, where he studies economics and political science with a minor in professional and public writing. At the university, he serves as president of the Alpha Chi National College Honors Society and the College Republicans Club, and he is a member of the Beta Gamma Sigma International Business Honors Society, Pi Sigma Alpha National Political Science Honors Society and the men’s rugby team. After graduation, Kiesow plans to attend law school.