Friday, May 7, 2010

Noble High to Host Never Doubt Festival

Last July, Noble High School senior Sean Ashburn and English teacher Jen England were one of twelve student/educator teams selected nationwide to attend the Aspen Ideas Festival as part of the generous Bezos Scholars Program. The duo spent their week in Aspen, Colorado meeting with notables like Sandra Day O’Connor and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, and attending presentations on technology, science, education, and international relations. As the Ideas Festival’s conclusion approached, the twelve Bezos Scholars were encouraged to spread their feelings of inspiration to their own communities through organizing a festival of their own. This was more than an option for Ashburn and England; after the experience of a lifetime, it was a necessary step to share their enthusiasm with the MSAD #60 community.
As soon as they returned home, the pair set forth preparing for the 1st annual Noble High School Never Doubt Festival. With this event, Ashburn’s vision is to remind his peers of the incredible power and potential they possess as young people. Under the mission statement, “Noble High School’s Never Doubt Festival is intended to inspire optimism and ambition in its participants, eliminating all doubts that students from a small town in Maine can achieve their dreams and change the world,” Ashburn applied for and received generous grants from Kennebunk Savings Bank, Pratt & Whitney, and the Bezos Family Foundation, who sponsor the festival. Months of planning will culminate on Tuesday, May 11 when the full-day event will transpire.
Working with the MSAD #60 Believe Committee, Ashburn and the festival planning team will be bringing in more than 60 community members to engage and encourage the Noble student body. The Never Doubt Festival plan includes a Noble alumni panel, facilitated discussion groups, an Opportunities Fair – where local presenters will share their journey and accomplishments - and an address from Eric L. Knowlton School principal Ron Robert. Professional speaker and MTV Made Coach Jeff Yalden will give the keynote presentation to conclude the event.
The planning team has recognized the amazing opportunities and experiences that surround our area and are utilizing personal contacts to share those opportunities with students. The hope is for Noble students to return home May 11 confident that their futures are nothing short of promising.
Jeff Yalden is from Sagamore Beach, MA and has spoken to more than 4,500 youth audiences in all 50 states and representing over 48 different countries. His timely message about life and purpose is delivered with humor and hard-hitting honesty to high school and middle school-aged students around the world.
A solid motivator and educator, Yalden is a role model for youth with which he is comfortable: Yalden has spent the last twelve years touring the world, coaching and delivering his highly motivational speech to youth, educators and parents to make better life and family choices. He has saved lives and impacted youth to live a life of purpose and commitment.
So effective is Yalden’s work, in fact, the National Speaker’s Association has awarded him its highest honor. In 2002, the organization granted Yalden the title of Certified Speaking Professional. Less than 7% of professional Speakers worldwide carry the designation. Also, MTV called his show their best show in the six seasons of taping MTV MADE. His show was the longest running show seen by over 70 million youth.

Coastal Clovers 4-H Club Kicks off Foods for Families Project

The Coastal Clovers 4-H club kicked off the 2010 Foods for Families project on April 25 with a meeting at Coastal Landscaping and Garden Center. Owners David and Carol Bridges open the doors each year and donate surplus seedlings. The kids meet in one of the many greenhouses and fill trays with soil and then transplant the seedlings. From there the seedlings will be held in a small hot house for the next few weeks. Then the kids will get together at Zach’s Farm and plant them into the ground where they will mature and be harvested for local food pantries.
Last season the kids grew nearly 4,000 pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables for local food pantries. Club leader Russ Osgood said, “With the help of local business like Coastal Landscaping & Garden Center, Zach’s Farm, and the many donations we receive we have been able to produce enough fresh produce to feed over 50 families. We are pleased that we can partner with so many great people.”
The club is planning on adding early and late season crops this year too. The club received a Harvest Fund Grant from Maine Initiatives for hoops and covers that will allow the club to grow crops that like a warmer climate. “We plan on growing things like sweet potatoes this year and this grant will help make that possible,” Osgood said.
With the hundreds of seedlings started and the many early season crops already in their raised beds the pantry should be seeing donations by mid May.
Photo caption: The Coastal Clovers 4-H Club kicked off this year’s Foods for Families effort on April 25. (Courtesy photo)

UNE College of Osteopathic Medicine Acknowledged

US News & World Report (USNWR) has released its annual report ranking professional graduate school disciplines, including medicine and its various specialties. University of New England’s College of Osteopathic Medicine (UNE-COM) was recognized as sixth in the nation for its leadership in primary care training, as well as its rural medicine and geriatrics programs, both earning top-20 honors.
Since its founding in 1978, UNE-COM has graduated nearly 2,400 physician alumni. Of all licensed physicians in Maine, more have graduated from UNECOM than any other medical school in the world. UNE’s commitment to the education of primary care physicians is unmatched by any other medical school in New England, and the USNWR ranking now places it among the best in the nation.
The overall rankings include 20 accredited schools of osteopathic (DO granting) medicine, as well as 126 accredited allopathic (MD granting) programs. The rankings are based on expert opinions about program quality and statistical indicators that measure the quality of a school’s faculty, research, and students. Highlights of the 2011 graduate school rankings are published in the May print issue of U.S. News & World Report.
Primary care resident training: UNE ranked 6th UNE-COM’s mission of educating the nation’s primary care leaders is reflected in the US News rankings, which rank the College as sixth in the nation for schools that turn out the most graduates entering primary care residency training programs. These programs include family medicine, general internal medicine and pediatrics. This ranking is borne out by the following statistics: 10 percent of all practicing physicians in the state of Maine, and 15 percent of Maine’s primary care physician workforce, are UNE-COM graduates; more than 60 percent of UNE-COM graduates practice in a primary care specialty (family medicine, internal medicine, pediatrics), where Maine’s needs are the greatest.
For the US News specialty rankings, medical school deans and senior faculty selected the best programs using peer assessment surveys. Two UNE-COM programs made the top-20 list.
Specialty rankings: Rural Medicine: UNE ranked 17th The substantial shortage of primary care physicians nationwide is more significant in underserved areas and among vulnerable populations. Through a partnership with the Maine Area Health Education Center (AHEC) Network, headquartered on the UNE campus, UNE-COM reinforces its commitment to rural primary care in Maine by requiring clinical training for students in rural and underserved areas. Consequently, many graduates choose to remain in rural areas after graduation, as recognized in the US News ranking. Moreover, 5 percent of physicians practicing in Maine’s rural areas are UNE-COM graduates and17 percent of UNE-COM graduates are practicing in medically underserved areas of New England.
Specialty rankings: Geriatrics: UNE ranked 20th In the Best Medical Schools specialty ranking for geriatrics, UNE-COM’s Geriatric Medicine program was ranked 20th nationwide. Its innovative curriculum includes the nationally recognized “Learning by Living” program, which places medical students in area nursing homes to live the lives of a resident; and U-ExCEL, a fitness program that was recently awarded the Maine Governor’s Council on Physical Activity 2010 Maine Fitness Award in the Special Populations Category.
The survey data also showed that UNE-COM students bear some of the highest debt in the nation. Dean of the College of Osteopathic Medicine and Senior Vice President for Health Affairs, Marc B. Hahn, DO announced a strategic plan for UNE-COM in January 2010 which includes a plan to address student debt through planned strategic growth in class size and an increase in mission-specific activities.
Dr. Hahn also stated: “UNE-COM’s Patient-First Curriculum focuses on creating outstanding physicians who are health care leaders that advance primary care and community health. I am pleased by the US News & World Report rankings and our peer recognition, which demonstrate not only the effectiveness of UNE-COM’s mission with regard to primary care education, but also our leadership in rural practice and geriatric medicine.”
For more information, visit Article submitted by UNE-COM.