MEOC participant featured in Belfast Adult Education Article

Jamie Russell in cap and gown.MEOC and Belfast Adult Education participant Jamie Russell was recently featured in an article highlight her success.

In June just two years after coming back to school, Jamie achieved her high school diploma and was accepted at Eastern Maine Community College. She was also published in The Change Agent an adult education newspaper for social justice. She has a network of staff at Belfast Adult Education to turn to for encouragement and support as she starts her journey to college. With guidance from Belfast Adult Education, Jamie thoughtfully planned her coursework to meet her goals. When asked what her plan involved, Jamie replied, “In my last year of high school diploma classes, I was careful to take prerequisites that would be beneficial to college. In my final semester at Belfast Adult Education in addition to finishing work for my high school diploma, I took the college transition program, College Connection, along with five courses toward my high school graduation. This was a heavy course load (as a single mom of three), but I was determined to do the best I could to be ready for college this fall.”

(The whole article is available as a PDF.)


We at MEOC are proud to partner to with Belfast Adult Ed, and proud to be part of Jamie’s team! Congratulations Jame, and good luck going forward!

Education gives inmates a second chance to meaningfully contribute to society

Two years ago, the U.S. Department of Education announced that 67 colleges and universities in 27 states — including the University of Maine at Augusta — had been selected to take part in the Second Chance Pell Experimental Sites Initiative. The goal of the pilot program was to test whether a greater number of people in prison would participate in high-quality education programs if they had greater access to financial aid to pay for such programs.

Initial results suggest the pilot is working. Since Second Chance Pell launched, 954 credentials, including certificates, associate’s degrees and bachelor’s degrees, have been awarded to students in prison thanks to expanded access to postsecondary education financial assistance. Here in Maine, we have awarded 72 degrees to date: 67 to incarcerated individuals at the Maine State Prison, four at the Women’s Reentry Center and one so far at the Maine Correctional Center.

Read the full article at the BDN site.