Aroostook County is known as the Crown of Maine, as well it should be. We have so many treasures here. The forests, rivers, lakes and wildlife...
But our greatest treasure is our young people. They are the key to the future... our future and, indeed, the future of this wonderful county. We need to keep them here near us, yet they are leaving the county at a frightening rate.
The founders of the Aroostook Aspirations initiative have lived in The County for most of their lives. They've seen the changes that have occurred over the years:
• Aroostook County has seen its population drop by 20,000 people in the last 12 years, due in large part to the out-migration of our youth.
• Aroostook County has the second highest rate of out-migration in the state
• We have the third highest level of poverty in Maine
• In 2010, a huge portion of the population of Aroostook County was 65 or older, compared with much lower numbers for all of Maine and the US.
• The number of people in Aroostook County that have completed a bachelor's degree program lags significantly behind the state average , and even more so behind the national average.
• Among the state's counties, Aroostook County has the second highest number of first generation college students , e.g., students who are the first in their families to attend college.
• Recent numbers indicate that the number of people in our workforce is at a dangerously low level. With this lack of qualified workers, it would be difficult for large employers to locate any skilled employees in the County.
We want to see these statistics improve in order to breathe life back into Aroostook County. We want to keep our "treasures" here and ensure that the Crown of Maine maintains its glow long into the future.
Continue our important work in Aroostook County. Our young people are our greatest treasures.
Earn a college education right here in the County, stay after graduation and raise their families here. Your support sends students to college who might not otherwise be able to attend.
By stemming the out-migration of our youth while also improving the economy of Aroostook County.