In a ceremony to honor Senator George Mitchell’s accomplishments for the country and the state of Maine, Senator Mitchell spoke openly about his experiences in government. From his first race for the Maine governorship in 1974 to his more recent urging to bridge the political divide among parties, Senator Mitchell addressed the Maine legislature at the Augusta state house to celebrate the unveiling of his portrait in the Hall of Flags.
But what stood out among the Senator’s address was his focus on the students of Maine: “I’ve met thousands of these young people and I can tell you, without a doubt, Maine students are as good as any students in America.” As proud of his political accomplishments as he is, Senator Mitchell stated that, next to his family, the Mitchell Institute stands as the most important thing in his life.
In this way, the Senator outlined the importance of providing opportunity to Maine’s current students. Through his efforts with the Mitchell Institute, over $11 million has been allocated to students in college scholarships, with even more support being given for their personal and professional development.
Coming from modest beginnings in Waterville, ME, Senator Mitchell spoke of the opportunity his parents strived the provide him: “My mother could not read or write English. My father was a janitor at Colby College. But because of their efforts, and more importantly because of the openness of American society, I, their son, was able to get the education they never had and become the majority leader of the United States Senate.”
Senator Mitchell’s focus on providing Maine a brighter future through its students was made clear as he spoke. “If Maine students are given the chance and the tools, they can compete with anyone, anywhere, any time.”