Aroostook Aspirations Initiative (AAI) hosted their fourth annual Night with the Stars Gala on Saturday, September 16th, at the University of Maine at Presque Isle.

Aroostook Aspirations
Aroostook Aspirations

The evening celebrated the nonprofit organization’s current and past Gauvin Scholars, business and community supporters of AAI, and annual award recipients.

Newly inducted Gauvin Scholars were introduced and were given the opportunity to network and make connections with community, education, and business leaders. Kevin McAfee, 2017 Judy-Ann Carroll Veteran Gauvin Scholar, said he truly enjoyed the networking opportunities available throughout the event.

CEO of Cary Medical Center, Kris Doody, served as the gala’s keynote speaker.

“Certainly being invited to be the keynote speaker at the gala was an honor and privilege for me personally. Cary Medical Center has been an ongoing, major sponsor of AAI and we believe strongly in its mission to keep young people here in the County by supporting them in multiple ways as they complete their college education at a local college or university,” said Doody.

2017 Katahdin Trust Company Gauvin Scholar, Megan Cole, served as the evening’s Scholar speaker. She shared some heartfelt advice with the newly inducted Gauvin Scholars as well as all others in attendance.

Aroostook Aspirations Initiative also presented awards for Mentor of the Year, Innovative Educator and Business of the Year. The third Road Back Home Award was also presented.

The Mentor of the Year award was presented to Don Hanson. Hanson is a shop teacher at Washburn District High School. This year’s award was sponsored by Northern Prosthetics and Orthotics. Hanson was nominated by Jacquilin West, 2017 KFC-Taco Bell Gauvin Scholar, and Kelsea Jencks, 2017 Gauvin Scholar.

The Innovative Educator of the Year award was presented to Gina Jandreau, a science teacher at Madawaska Elementary School. This year’s award was sponsored by MMG Insurance. Jandreau was nominated by Denise Duperre, Executive Marketing Director for NorState Federal Credit Union.

The Business of the Year award was presented to F.A. Peabody Company. Although representatives from the company were unable to attend this year’s event, Chris Anderson, President and CEO of F.A. Peabody Company, accepted the award in a video. This year’s award was sponsored by Cary Medical Center. The company was nominated by the Greater Houlton Chamber of Commerce.

Lastly, the third Road Back Home award was presented to University of Maine Chancellor, Dr. James H. Page. This award is presented to an individual who makes the County proud and whose actions demonstrate continuing dedication for Aroostook and its bright future. This award is sponsored by Aroostook Aspirations Initiative.

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