AUBURN
High school senior serves as U.S. Senate page
The Auburn City Council and Mayor Jason Levesque recognized Edward Little High School senior Landon Cougle for his monthlong service as a United States Senate page this summer.
During each session of the Senate, senior senators from each state nominate a high school student through a highly competitive application and selection process. Only 30 positions are available for the 100 senators. Landon was nominated by Maine Sen. Susan Collins.

Senator Susan Collins poses with her summer page nominee Landon Cougle of Auburn.jpg

Sen. Susan Collins and her summer page nominee Landon Cougle of Auburn. Courtesy

Pages selected from across the U.S. live in a dorm two blocks from the Capitol complex during the four-week program. Landon and his peers performed numerous tasks, from collecting senators’ speeches and preparing the Senate chamber for sessions, to delivering legislative material and assisting staffers on the floor.
Cougle said the experience provided him with a front row seat to the inner workings of government, where he was able to meet with fellow interns, staffers, and the senators themselves.
“I learned that our elected representatives are personable, human, and they are just like you and me,” said Cougle. “I can proudly say bipartisanship and cross-party interaction exists, and it is encouraging to see it in person.”
Cougle plans to pursue an education in public policy and law following graduation in 2023.
“I thank Sen. Susan Collins for providing me with this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and for being so gracious by taking the time to talk about the very real issues affecting Maine people, whether that was rising drug prices or the need for good-paying Maine jobs.”
“I offer my warm congratulations to Landon on this truly impressive accomplishment,” said Levesque, who presented Landon with a commemorative coin, City of Auburn journal, and a wooden gavel. “He represented his hometown very well in Washington, D.C., and his community is very proud of him. The future of our city is in great hands with exceptional young leaders like Landon.”

PORTLAND
Diocese raise over $50,000 to fight hunger
Parishioners in the Diocese of Portland raised more than $52,000 for the Catholic Relief Services’ (CRS) Rice Bowl program during the 40 days of Lent this year. CRS Rice Bowl is a faith-in-action program that encourages Catholics to fill cardboard bowls with monetary donations, giving alms to those in need and honoring Jesus’ call to serve our neighbors.
Individuals and families in the Diocese of Portland have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars in recent years as part of the program. According to CRS, 75 percent of the donations given through CRS Rice Bowl will go to Catholic Relief Services to support humanitarian aid projects that bring vital hope and life-saving aid to the poor overseas, while 25 percent of donations stay in the diocese to fight hunger and poverty locally, including at food pantries, soup kitchens, and homeless shelters.

SOUTHERN MAINE
Volunteer to raise a guide dog
The Maine Region of Guiding Eyes for the Blind is seeking volunteer puppy raisers in southern Maine to take their pups into their homes for 14 to 16 months to them teach basic skills and socialize them.
Guiding Eyes for the Blind is passionate about connecting exceptional dogs with individuals for greater independence. The journey from puppy to professional Guiding Eyes dog takes up to three years and can cost up to $50,000 annually. As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, Guiding Eyes provides all services completely free of charge to people who are blind or experiencing vision loss.
Raisers receive ongoing, local support every step of the way and the puppies receive free vet care. Caretakers are being sought from the Biddeford, Saco, Kennebunk, Old Orchard Beach and Scarborough areas.
For more details, email [email protected]

WATERVILLE
Apply for 12-week entrepreneurship program
Dirigo Labs is accepting applications for its second accelerator cohort, a 12-week program offering a targeted curriculum, mentorship, and a dedicated workspace at Bricks Coworking & Innovation Space.
The program will begin in late January 2023 and end with a pitch competition and cash prize award in early May. Startup teams are assigned a group of mentors selected from a national pool of seasoned professionals and industry experts. This year, founders will also have access to coaching sessions with an Entrepreneur-in-Residence who brings experience as a successful founder, entrepreneur, and innovator.
“We are excited to build out our portfolio of successful startups and strategic partnerships,” said Dirigo Labs Managing Director Susan Ruhlin. “We want to be the conduit that connects them to our unique network of people and resources.”
Since the program began, the inaugural cohort demonstrated significant growth and impact in the areas of job creation, fundraising, sales, and business expansion. Dirigo Labs has continued to monitor their progress since the end of the program.
“The staff did a remarkable job connecting me with the resources and help we needed at that very moment in time for our business. I quickly came to value the camaraderie in sharing and receiving advice from other entrepreneurs in Maine,” said Sascha Deri, founder and CEO of blueShift Aerospace, who won the $25,000 pitch prize sponsored by Skowhegan Savings Bank. “It was amazing to see so many of us in the cohort shared common challenges despite being in completely different industries.”
For more details and a link to the accelerator application, please visit dirigolabs.org or email [email protected]

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