Our partner educators are the backbone of program delivery, supported by the Rural Aspiration Project’s educational team, along with a diverse group of industry professionals, organizations, governmental agencies, and educational institutions. 


The implementation looks a bit different from school to school. Throughout the program, we've partnered with teachers in science, English and health and wellness classes representing rural communities from Bethel to Guilford.   


Rural Aspirations works with each partner school to define a program structure aligned with the district’s educational vision and strategic plans.


Industry leaders, entrepreneurs, civic and business leaders, and forestry professionals provide a platform of expertise, offering technical support, access to research and development affecting Maine’s forests, and opportunities for students to have hands-on experiences that match their aspirations and interests.  


Private and nonprofit organizations/foundations support the development of this program by offering expertise on topics ranging from education and conservation to recreation and community development.


Post-secondary institutions offer diverse opportunities for students as they refine aspirations and seek higher levels of learning. These institutions will train our future forest professionals, whether they focus on developing sustainable industry models, creating a small business that utilizes high-quality lumber, or leading conservation efforts as communities develop strategic plans for future economic viability.  


We will be seeking additional school partnerships this spring. If you are interested please navigate to the contact page!    


The Rural Aspirations Project is leading the development of this program.  Our foundational Steering Committee is comprised of:

  • Korah Soll, Director, Rural Aspirations Project

  • Mindy Crandall, Assistant Professor of Forest Landscape Management & Economics, UMaine

  • Jessica Leahy, Professor of Human Dimensions of Natural Resources, UMaine

  • Catharine Biddle, Assistant Professor of Educational Leadership, UMaine

  • Nicole Bernsen, Ph.D. Student in Forest Resources, UMaine

  • Dawna Blackstone, Piscataquis Education Programs Coordinator, Appalachian Mountain Club


We will be seeking additional members in the coming months.  Contact us if you, your business or organization would like to be involved!