The Aspirations Incubator Program will incubate comprehensive mentoring-based pilot programs for youth in eight rural communities and small cities in Maine, with the intention of sharing the outcomes of this funding investment with philanthropic, youth development, and education communities.  

The Aspirations Incubator Program partner organizations and associated school districts are: 

Chewonki/RSU #1 - Chewonki is a school and camp based in Wiscasset that inspires transformative growth, teaches appreciation and stewardship of the natural world, and challenges people to build thriving, sustainable communities throughout their lives.  RSU #1 serves Arrowsic, Bath, Woolwich, Phippsburg, and surrounding communities.

Community Bicycle Center/Biddeford School Department - The Community Bicycle Center in Biddeford is a free, year-round youth program that provides kids of all backgrounds with a safe place to connect with caring adults through bike rides and repairs.

Kieve-Wavus Education/AOS #93Kieve-Wavus Education, based in Nobleboro, is committed to empowering people to contribute positively to society by promoting the values of kindness, respect for others, and environmental stewardship through year-round experiential programs, camps for youth and adults, and guidance from inspirational role models.  AOS #93 and Lincoln Academy serves the Lincoln County towns of Bremen, Bristol, Damariscotta, Jefferson, Newcastle, Nobleboro, and South Bristol.

Old Town-Orono YMCA/RSU #34 - The Old Town-Orono YMCA is a community centered organization that serves all ages by promoting healthy living, nurturing the potential of every individual and family, and fostering social responsibility. RSU #34 serves Alton, Bradley and Old Town in Penobscot County.

Seeds of Independence/Brunswick Public Schools - Seeds of Independence provides youth and teens ages 11-18 with peer and community mentors to reinforce self-worth, good decision making, and healthy lifestyle choices in order to become independent, productive members of our world.

The EdGE program of Maine Seacoast Mission/SAD #37 - The Maine Seacoast Mission founded the EdGE program in 2002. Through after-school, in-school, and summer programs, EdGE offers children from Gouldsboro to Machias the opportunity to challenge themselves, engage with their communities and the outdoors, and explore college and career options.  SAD #37 serves the Washington County communities of Addison, Columbia, Columbia Falls, Harrington, and Milbridge.

The Game Loft/RSU #3 - The Game Loft, based in Belfast, promotes positive youth development through non-electronic games and community involvement. RSU #3 serves the Waldo County towns of Brooks, Freedom, Jackson, Knox, Liberty, Monroe, Montville, Thorndike, Troy, Unity and Waldo.

University of Maine 4-H Center at Bryant Pond/SAD #44 - The University of Maine 4-H Center at Bryant Pond is dedicated to helping young people reach their fullest potential through affordable hands-on learning in the outdoors, in the classroom, and beyond.  SAD #44 serves the Oxford County towns of Andover, Bethel, Gilead, Greenwood, Newry, and Woodstock.



Empowering local leaders and other youth advocates to play a vital and supportive role in raising and nurturing the aspirations of young people growing up in their community is integral to the AIP concept.  This leadership development will be accomplished through professional training rooted in 10 Youth Programming Principles shaped by the Trekkers program.  In addition to investing in the AIP community partnerships, the Lerner Foundation also is funding the creation of the Trekkers Training Institute for Youth Development, which will provide the leadership development component of the AIP program.  The Institute will offer training modules focused on its 10 Youth Programming Principles, as well as provide AIP partners a full immersion training experience working within the Trekkers organization.  They will get to see the 10 Principles in action, and consider how to incorporate or adapt the 10 Principles into their own programming and activities.  Each of the eight AIP partner organizations will send a staff person to the inaugural immersion training experience, which is slated to begin in June 2017.  Starting in 2018, the Trekkers Institute will open its training opportunities to other practitioners in the fields of youth development, mentoring, and education.






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