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Penobscot Bay Press
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News Feature

The Island
Originally published in Island Ad-Vantages, June 27, 2019
Project Launch adds new business sponsor for “We’ve Got Your Back”

Project Launch

The 2019 Project Launch members, front row from left, Gunnar Krause, Kristin Thompson, Kaley Eaton, Addie McDonald, Tobey Snow, Caleb Hardie; back row, Abby Stinson, Lily Gray, Haley Hardy, Michael Barter.

Photo courtesy of Saige Brages

On May 30, Project Launch gifted Deer Isle-Stonington High School college-going senior students with a logo hoodie from their chosen post-secondary institution through “We’ve Got Your Back.”

The 2019 “We’ve Got Your Back” program was made possible through the support of two local Stonington businesses. The Island Agency has provided support to the program for the past three years; this year the program welcomes Stonecutters Kitchen, according to a press release. Owner Tony Bray said, “As a past graduate of our high school and the father of two children who have attended our local schools, I think it’s really important to recognize our students for their accomplishments. As a local business owner, I’m happy to support our college-bound students and wish them all the best!”

“We’ve Got Your Back” was started in 2016 to show support for college-going students as they embark on the next step of their educational path. This year, Project Launch has added 12 new members from the 2019 graduating class.

As shared by student Michael Barter, 2019 DISHS graduate, “Project Launch has shown me so much and guided me into what I want to do for a living. I’m really excited to go to college because I’ll be getting the chance to learn about something that I love to do.” In September, Barter will attend Eastern Maine Community College, where he has been accepted into the Diesel Mechanics & Heavy Machinery two-year degree program.

Project Launch was started in 2012 and is an original model created to help local students and families make a successful transition from high school to post-secondary learning (including two and four year colleges, certificate programs and technical schools). Working in partnership with the guidance office, support begins in high school and continues throughout college.

Executive Director Kimberly Hutchinson said in the release, “Project Launch does not dictate that every local student needs to attend a post-secondary program. But for those that want to, our goal is to give them the tools that they need to succeed.”

For information about Project Launch, contact Hutchinson at 348-2303, disprojectlaunch@gmail.com or stop by the office at the high school.