On Wednesday March 23rd and Thursday March 24th, Mano en Mano hosted two bilingual presentations for the parents of students enrolled in nearby schools. Fourteen parents and three students attended the first presentation, which featured guidance counseling staff of Narraguagus High School and was an opportunity for parents to learn what resources are available for their children and to meet the guidance counselor. Parents raised a number of important questions about what services the guidance counselors provided and were excited to learn about all of the different educational options that are available through the high school. The second presentation was led by community leader and University of Maine at Machias student Maria Paniagua. She connected community members with the individuals at local organizations that helped make her college experience possible while also sharing her take on what parents and students should know as they begin thinking about college. Speakers from the Eastern Maine Development Corporation, the Machias Careercenter, and Child and Family Opportunities came and presented about programs that help students overcome barriers that they may face when going into college. Ten parents and three students were able to attended Thursday's workshop.
A few months back, community leaders at a Nuestra Voz en la Comunidad (Our Voice in the Community) meeting specifically expressed a desire of parents to learn more about the local school systems and what steps their children can take in order to get ready for college. By drawing on resources that are already available in the greater Milbridge area and western Washington County, as well as the experience of someone from the community who has made the transition to college, some barriers and challenges that students face might be more easily overcome.
Thanks to all of the folks that made this possible! It means a lot that they were able to volunteer their time and share their insights with the community. Thanks to Maria Frankland and Mary Fickett of the Narraguagus High School guidance office, Gretchen Harrington at Child and Family Opportunities, Janie Small of the Machias Careercenter, Chris Huh of the Eastern Maine Development Corporation, and Maria Paniagua for presenting.