Scholars Scholar Profiles

Julia Spieldenner

Lawrence High School, 2009 / Husson University, 2014

I am the youngest of 18 children! I love being part of such a large family, although it can present some interesting challenges. The majority of Mitchell Scholars are the first in their family to attend college. I’m the opposite with 11 older siblings who have attended college. With a family of hard workers and the Mitchell Institute’s financial support, college was made possible for me too. I’ve been fortunate to experience rich networking opportunities this honor has presented me. I’m currently working three part-time jobs and keeping active in my community. I will be receiving my Master’s Degree in Occupational Therapy following my undergraduate degree this spring. The Mitchell Institute has been there for me, and I trust they will continue to help me achieve my future goals. Thank you!

Julia Spieldenner Julia Spieldenner

Vasin Vivattanakulpanit

Deering High School, 2012 / Bates College, 2016

I grew up in Thailand and moved to Maine when I was in 8th grade. My parents sent us because they wanted my sister and me to benefit from the educational opportunities in America. I moved in with my aunt and uncle and started at Deering High School with limited English background. It was a hard adjustment at first, but with the help of great teachers, as well as lots of perseverance, I became fluent in English, made several good friends, and became involved in school activities and my new community. When I was applying to college, I knew I wanted to stay in Maine and I knew I would study pre-med since I have always loved science. The award from the Mitchell Institute made a big difference for me and my family financially. The Millinocket weekend made it clear that the Mitchell Institute fosters strong connections among Scholars and Alumni – it really is so much more than just a check. I am at Bates now, hoping to become a dentist. I love Maine, too, and hope to practice here someday.

Vasin Vivattanakulpanit Vasin Vivattanakulpanit

Gwen Beacham

Mount Blue High School, 2011 / University of Maine, 2015

The Mitchell Institute Fellowship allowed me to financially support my studies abroad in Ireland. This semester abroad has been a significant time for my personal growth. Living and learning in unfamiliar surroundings has strengthened my self-confidence and sense of independence. It’s an incredible experience to be integrated into another culture and to learn how differently challenges can be addressed.

Gwen Beacham Gwen Beacham