Aroostook Aspirations Initiative (AAI) has deep roots and a proven track record in Aroostook County. The precursor to AAI, the Gauvin County Scholarship Fund, provided scholarships to Presque Isle High School graduating seniors for more than a decade. With more than 100 scholarships awarded, the Gauvin County Scholarship Fund made a significant impact for first-generation and economically disadvantaged students.
Our scholars have a 95% completion rate for college degrees, far greater than the University of Maine System and the Maine Community College System. Many of our students have gone well beyond their initial college goals, with majors including pharmacy, nursing, computer-aided drafting, geology, social work, business management, wind technology, environmental design/architecture, and aeronautical engineering - including a graduate that currently works for NASA and is currently completing a doctoral degree.
The success of our scholarship program led us to expand our programs and increase our scale and impact to a countywide level through the creation of the Aroostook Aspirations Initiative. AAI was founded in 2011 by Ray and Sandy Gauvin into order to engage a countywide constituency to meet our expanded goals. Aroostook Aspirations Initiative was publicly launched in April, 2013, at a press conference featuring Stephen Bowen, Maine Commissioner of Education at that time.
To date, we have awarded scholarships to more than 270 students and amounting to approximately $200,000 from our endowment and sponsors.
Very few things in life are more promising and give us greater meaning than helping our youth reach their highest potential, be as successful as possible and live wherever they choose. Your efforts to help our county's youth to pursue their education and find ways to seek their careers within Aroostook County provides them with such an opportunity.