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Innovation Workshop: What We Do
Futures, Pathways, and Connections Workshop

How can our community collaborate to create impactful educational opportunities for the many students who wish to pursue careers and businesses opportunities in the trades? We began by hosting, in conjunction with Telstar High and Middle Schools, an immersive half-day workshop to bring professionals from many diverse career paths into the school to discuss their careers and their educational backgrounds. Our goal? To provide an increased awareness of job opportunities, both local and away, that are available to our community’s young people.

What we ask our community

The workshop series consists of six 25-minute discussions with professionals from a wide variety of backgrounds to discuss their career pathways, share knowledge, and answer questions in smaller peer groups. By presenting casual conversations in smaller peer groups, over short windows of time, our hope is to engage, peak curiosities, and start conversations at home. The workshop is to be attended by the entire 10-12th grade student body at Telstar Middle & High School, and offered to all Gould Academy students that elect to attend. This planned annual event has a broad reach, and over time nurtures hundreds of local youth as they make critical decisions regarding their futures.

We’re asking community leaders to join us as speakers biannually at Telstar Middle & High School for a morning discussing futures, pathways, and forging connections. We believe that all kids deserve a chance to know what’s possible in life and believe that they can accomplish their goals. Through education and hands- on work experience that open the doors to future success, we know that the future for this beautiful place lies in the support we provide today to help its people achieve their aspirations.

What we ask our students: 

As you begin your time as an upperclassman at Telstar, we wanted to take the opportunity to host a half-day workshop, bringing professionals from many diverse career paths to discuss their careers and their educational backgrounds. Our hope is that you leave this morning session with an increased awareness of job opportunities, both local and away, that are available to you.


The morning workshops will consist of six 25-minute discussions with professionals from a wide variety of backgrounds to discuss their career pathways, share knowledge, and answer your questions in small breakout groups. These casual conversations aim to peak your curiosity, and potentially learn about a new pathway available to you. This event over time will expose you to the many opportunities that await you while you’re at Telstar, and making decisions regarding your future.


Speakers will share information on their industries, what a typical day looks like for them, some key experiences, skills, connections, and advice they’d impart from where they are now. We’re looking forward to spending the morning discussing futures, pathways, and forging connections with all of you!


December 2, 2022 Speakers List


Mike Pelletier, Clean Cut Painting


Mike Field, Field Plumbing


Tom Shepard,  Box The Content Cloud


Myles Felch, Maine Mineral & Gem Museum


Julia Young, Sunday River Real Estate & Development 


Beth Weisberger, Gneiss Spice


Mitchell Young, Hospitality Information Technology


Jessica Haight, Hospitality Human Resources


Ali Fraize, Independent Stock Plan Advisors

Delaney Paterson, Healtchare Technology


Jim Oliver, Healthcare Administration


Zach McCarthy, Nonprofit Leadership


Matt Stagliano, Photographer


Dare to Dream Innovation Workshop

The River Fund Maine 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. TRFM workshops offer students a life-changing experience in creative problem-solving using the acclaimed Design Thinking methodology. Developed by Stanford University, Design Thinking takes a real-life problem and challenges teams of students to develop a solution. During an immersive weekend 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.

The theme of the Fall 2021 River Fund Maine Innovation Workshop is “Arts & Culture.” Experiencing and engaging in art can look like creating something and can also look like inquiry, reflection, and expression. In this twelve hour sprint, we will explore the multiple identities, systems, and visions of the Bethel area, and apply the design thinking method to see how art and culture help us understand and express our place in the world, and understand differing perspectives and points of view. 

Innovation Workshop: Programs


 Fall 2021 River Fund Youth Innovation Challenge: 
arts & culture design that values civic engagement

 2021 River Fund Youth Innovation Challenge: 

community design that values wellness for all

2019 River Fund Youth Innovation Challenge:  

hospitality design that improves the guest experience

Innovation Workshop: Image
Innovation Workshop: Projects


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