Mobile makerspace

Portland Public Schools earlier this month unveiled its new mobile maker space, which will provide every pre-K to grade 5 student with at least one design/innovation/engineering experience each year. Contributed / Portland Public Schools

Cumberland student named Obama-Chesky scholar

Terra Gallo of Cumberland, a student at Colby College, was selected as part of the inaugural cohort of Voyager Scholarship recipients from the Obama Foundation and Airbnb.


The $100 million Obama-Chesky Scholarship for Public Service supports students pursuing careers in public service with an academic scholarship, exposure to travel and connections to a network of leaders.

The Voyager Scholarship is a two-year program for students in their junior and senior years of college from across the U.S. Scholars will receive up to $50,000 in financial aid, a $10,000 stipend and free Airbnb housing to pursue a summer work-travel experience. After graduation, Airbnb will provide the students with a $2,000 travel credit every year for 10 years.

Gallo spent a lot of her childhood outside in Maine, which inspired a lifelong love of nature and passion for the environment. While at Colby College, she has worked with local youth through a mentoring program and completed an independent civic engagement project focused on sharing diverse stories about menstruation.

“I want to focus on environmental issues and building communities that are resilient to climate change,” Gallo said. “I am passionate about food insecurity and food justice, and I plan to work collaboratively to find solutions.”

Portland student National Merit semifinalist

Portland High School senior Liam Fay-LeBlanc has been named a semifinalist in the 2023 National Merit Scholarship Program, and will continue in the competition for 7,250 National Merit Scholarships worth nearly $28 million.

Fay-LeBlanc is among 51 Maine seniors named as semifinalists; the nationwide pool represents less than 1% of high school seniors.

“I credit Liam for his diligence and hard work, and I also want to shout out to his teachers and all the other supporters, including family, who play such key roles in our students’ success,” said Superintendent Xavier Botana.