As the Mitchell Institute’s Board of Directors recently approved the second phase of the organization’s plan to increase the number of $10,000 Mitchell Scholarships awarded to college-going Maine high school seniors, the Mitchell Institute’s Scholarship Selection Committee will be able to say yes to 20 more applicants statewide in 2024, bringing the total number of Mitchell Scholarships awarded to 185.
The expansion in 2024 follows the awarding of 20 additional Mitchell Scholarships in 2023, said Jared Cash, President and CEO of the Mitchell Institute.
“We are deeply grateful to our many loyal and generous supporters for investing in the Mitchell Institute’s mission to increase the likelihood that young people from every community in Maine will aspire to, pursue, and achieve a college education,” Cash said. “Because of recent fundraising successes, we can, once again, expand the number of Mitchell Scholarships awarded and provide the additional 20 college-bound Maine high school seniors with the wraparound supports that complement the Mitchell Scholarship and are vital to success in college.”
The Mitchell Institute’s plan to increase the number of $10,000 scholarships awarded to 200 in the coming years (a 50% increase) depends on continued generosity from its many supporters. While the Mitchell Institute’s endowment can fund the expanded number of Scholarships awarded in the coming years, the resulting increase in critical wraparound supports needed to ensure the additional Scholars’ success—such as MILE I and II programming as well as funding for Fellowships and SOS (Support Our Scholars) emergency grants—will require increased investment from the Mitchell Institute community.
“From decades of research, we know that success requires more than just the money provided by a scholarship,” Cash said. “All of the additional supports that we offer Mitchell Scholars—while they are in college and beyond—are what set them up for success in life and set us apart from other scholarship organizations.”
Beyond the scholarship, the Mitchell Institute provides Mitchell Scholars with the opportunity to apply for fellowships of up to $1,500 for professional and personal development opportunities, such as unpaid or underpaid internships, career-related service projects, study-abroad experiences, and post-graduate and certification test preparation. The Mitchell Institute also provides Scholars with opportunities to apply for emergency funding for unexpected financial challenges, invitations to free leadership and career development events, and access to a network of more than 3,000 Mitchell Scholar Alumni who are eager to offer advice, mentoring, and career connections.
“One of the hallmarks of the Mitchell Scholar experience is the ongoing personal support and mentoring that Scholars receive from both the staff and our Alumni network,” Cash said. “When you receive the Mitchell Scholarship, you immediately become part of a community that is ready to help you succeed.”
With the expanded number of scholarships, the Mitchell Institute will award a total of $1.85 million in scholarships and related support for the class of 2024 Mitchell Scholars.
“Because of the strength of the outcomes we measure that are a direct result of the Scholarship and all of the wraparound supports we offer, as well as some recent fundraising successes, we recognized that now is the time to make this significantly increased investment in Maine’s young people,” Cash said.
“We are deeply honored to be able to make this significantly increased investment in Maine’s young people,” he continued. “The selection committee and I look forward to reviewing this year’s applications and selecting the 185 recipients of this prestigious award later this spring. Knowing that we will be offering a life-changing experience to 20 more young people this year has us all very excited.”