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.

The River Fund Maine Scholarship

The River Fund Maine Scholarship is focused on enabling local youth to achieve their educational and career-oriented aspirations. Each year, one local student will be named the River Fund Maine Scholar and receive a scholarship to support the attainment of a BA/BS or equivalent four-year college degree in the student’s chosen area. The River Fund Maine especially encourages recipients to envision, and prepare themselves for, careers in entrepreneurial and leadership roles. The objective is to assist talented students in developing an education plan that leads to a fulfilling and rewarding career, not just a job.

The River Fund Maine Scholar will receive up to $20,000 each year to cover the cost of college tuition and fees, room and board, books and educational supplies. The scholarship is renewal for up to three additional years and is intended to allow a student to gain a college degree and graduate without crushing debt. The scholarship recipient will also have access to financial counseling, internships, and professional mentoring to help them map a successful path through the college or university experience.

To Be Eligible an Applicant Shall
  • Demonstrate financial need
  • Live in the MSAD 44 district or have participated in a River Fund Maine Innovation Workshop
  • Be accepted into an accredited four-year college or university
  • Scholars must maintain a minimum of a 3.0 GPA until graduation in order to be eligible for annual renewal for up to 3 years; some exceptions may be made with professional judgment.
How to Apply 

 1. Print and fill out The River Fund Maine Scholarship Application on or before March 27, 2021

  1. Submit all attachments in order to be considered:
    • Complete and updated transcript, including GPA and courses taken
    • Two current letters of recommendation including contact information from a teacher, administrator, program leader, coach, or school counselor (can include letters of recommendation that were written for college applications)
    • Copy of the Student Aid Report (SAR) reported from FAFSA
    • Essay Questions
  2. Mail your application and all attachments OR leave a copy of this information in a sealed envelope at the Telstar Guidance Office or the Gould Academy College Counseling office addressed to:
    • Noah Tanguay-Collins
      Executive Director
      The River Fund Maine
      PO Box 111
      Newry, ME 04261
  3. Applicants will be notified on or before April 15, 2021




Congratulations to our 2020
River Fund Maine Scholar
Luci Rothwell


Luci Rothwell of Bryant Pond, Maine is The River Fund Maine’s inaugural Scholar. She is a Telstar senior and is attending Central Maine Community College through Telstar’s advanced learning program which allows students to enrich their educational experience by taking advanced course work. On track to enroll in Husson University’s Five-Year Accelerated Program in Occupational Therapy, Luci’s educational aspirations reflect her junior year opportunity—shadowing an occupational therapist at Rumford Hospital—and her deep commitment to her local community. Ultimately, Luci plans to return to Western Maine to work in OT at a local hospital.

“Luci Rothwell has been the perfect example of a student athlete leader and friend in her time at Telstar not only to her peers, but the younger students in our district as well,” says Mark Kenney, Telstar principal. “She is a committed and dedicated student who is going to continue to do great things as she heads off to Husson University in the fall. I am very proud of her and wish her nothing but the best.”


Innovation Workshop

 2021 River Fund Youth Innovation Challenge:  community design that values wellness for all

 The River Fund recognizes that youth need more opportunities to see themselves as change-agents and to build community with others who are ready to step into the challenge of leadership in this complex world.  The pandemic has revealed that youth are incredibly resourceful and capable problem solvers, and in a post-pandemic world they will be able to use this experience and growth to drive future innovations.  So let’s get started now! 

This year, the challenge focused on imagining a post-pandemic world and challenges the teams to design a product or service to improve wellness across all ranges of ages and types of community members in the Bethel area. Another way of understanding the challenge is to see that Bethel not only values wellness, but it also prioritizes equitable use of wellness resources, products and services.

Challenge Goals

  1. Create a well-designed, practical solution that improves equitable access for wellness in the Bethel community. 
  2. Encourage a new generation of youth to become knowledgeable about the importance of wellness and the resources of the community. 
  3. Dare to dream more broadly and consider areas from work to school to healthcare to fitness to relationships and to any other aspect of life.  
  4. Provide youth a community voice.  


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