Education can open the door to rewarding and exciting careers, not just jobs. Significant growth in the hospitality, tourism and recreation industries throughout Maine advances career opportunities from forestry to finance, from human resources to hotel management, from web design to engineering. The combination of environment and recreation is creating a bright future for youth…if the path to these careers is supported.

Innovation Workshop

The purpose of this workshop is to expose youth to a creative problem-solving strategy called Design Thinking. Developed by Stanford University, Design Thinking takes a real-life problem and challenges teams to develop a solution. During an immersive weekend at Sunday River Resort and led by trained facilitators, youth will be challenged to:

  1. Develop interviewing skills when they must talk to people who actually experience the problem in their daily life.  Understand how to really listen to other people with empathy.
  2. Learn how to identify what the “real” problem is.  Differentiate between the root cause of an issue and the surrounding contributing factors.
  3. Work as a team to brainstorm solutions.  Understand effective communication techniques when working with others to arrive at a consensus.
  4. Create a workable solution.  Understand how an iterative approach encourages thoughtful experimentation.  Experience how an open mind to the thoughts and ideas of others can improve a result.  Develop skills in how to forge agreement on a single solution from many points of view.
  5. Create an effective presentation of the team’s solution and present it to a panel of industry experts.
  6. Make friends, learn cool stuff, win prizes and have fun!

Congratulations to our 2019
Dare to Dream Innovators, Job well done.

River Fund Scholars

River Fund Scholars are supported by three interconnected programs targeted at ensuring their success.


To enable local youth to achieve their aspirations, The River Fund will be establishing an up to four year college scholarship to one student annually. The scholarship is intended to cover not only college tuition and fees, but also room and board, books and educational supplies.

The River Fund Scholarship Program is open to all local students who have graduated from an accredited high school or equivalent degree program.

The first River Fund Scholar will be selected through an application process in 2020.

Financial Advisor Support

One of the most daunting prospects facing applicants for financial aid is the application process itself. The most effective way to counter the problem is to pair an applicant with a one-on-one advisor who ensures that the student takes advantage of every opportunity and complies with all application requirements and timelines. By ensuring that every avenue has been explored, The River Fund assures that a student enters college with enough financial resources to succeed and exit without crushing debt.

The Advisor program will begin in 2020.

Summer Internships

To introduce students to the many opportunities available in our area, The River Fund will be creating summer internship with local businesses to allow the students to explore a wide range of careers available to them as well as to acquire resume-building experience during their college years.

The Summer Internship Program will begin in 2021.