ROCKLAND — David Worthington, founder and Board Chair of the Worthington Scholarship Foundation, has announced a major expansion of the nonprofit’s college scholarships. The Foundation plans to add an additional seventeen high schools to the existing six in Knox, Waldo and Lincoln counties.
Since 2016, almost 2.5 million dollars has been awarded to Midcoast area students. The new high schools are located in Lincoln, Hancock and Washington counties and will double the number of annual awards distributed from approximately 110 to about 220.
Award amounts typically total $16,000 for a student attending a four-year college, distributed at $2,000 per semester. Community college students receive $2,000 per semester for the length of their program. Upon receiving an Associates’ degree, a Worthington scholar can elect to continue on to obtain a Bachelors. A mentoring component is also provided to each scholar to ensure their success.
Students receiving the scholarship must meet criteria based both on their academic merit (high school grades) and financial need. Students must attend one of the Maine colleges that have agreements with the foundation. Colleges are: Bates, Bowdoin, Colby, Husson, Maine Maritime, Thomas, any Maine community college and any college of the University of Maine system.
The Worthington Scholarship exists through generous support from David and Beverly Worthington, summer residents of Spruce Head Island and winter residents of Naples, Florida. Beverly is a retired corporate commercial pilot and David worked in the oil business.
The Worthingtons settled in the Midcoast in 1990 due to a family connection and began offering the Worthington Scholarship to Oceanside High School students in 2010. The Worthington Scholarship Foundation (WSF) is a 501 (c)3 private operating foundation incorporated in the State of Maine with offices and staff located in Rockland.
Expansion into Waldo County in 2019 led to a partnership with The University of Maine Hutchinson Center, who provided meeting and event space and support for staff to meet with area students and parents.
First National Bank and Machias Savings Bank are the two latest partners supporting this large geographic expansion. They allow the Foundation to connect with and have access to high schools and students across a broad area of the state without having to add satellite offices or staff. These banking institutions have agreed to assist promoting awareness of Worthington scholarships in their communities, offering their many local branches as information centers where students can pick up information. Bank staff will even provide assistance completing forms, answer scholars’ questions and provide ability to Skype or Zoom from the bank’s branch to the scholars’ mentor in the Foundation’s main office, according to the Foundation, in a news release.
About First National Bank
“First National Bank is proud to partner with the Worthington Scholars program,” said President and CEO Tony McKim, in the release. “Access to higher education is important to our young adults and this program is a wonderful opportunity to provide students not only the funds to go to school but also the mentoring support they need to be successful, in college and in life. We are pleased to do what we can to promote and facilitate the program in our branches and in the communities we serve.”
About Machias Savings Bank
“Machias Savings Bank believes in the power of collaboration to change individual lives, in this case, bettering opportunities for rural Maine youth. When we were asked to partner with the Worthington Scholars, we jumped at the opportunity. As a 150- year old community bank, we have the relationships, volunteers, and manpower to assist the Worthingtons in getting scholarship funds in the hands of local students. What we often find is that while talent is equally distributed across the state, opportunity is not. The Worthington’s are bridging this gap. Beyond funds, they build in mentorship and true community. They share the bank’s mission of making a difference in the communities they serve. Together, we are moving Maine forward, one student at a time.”
For more information, visit www.worthingtonscholars.org, one of the partner organizations’ branches, or call (207) 596-5800. Seniors graduating from a partner high school should visit their high school guidance office for application materials and deadlines.
A complete list of the high schools whose students are eligible to receive the scholarships follows:
Deer Isle – Stonington
George Stevens Academy
Camden Hills Regional