News Feature

Deer Isle
Originally published in Island Ad-Vantages, June 29, 2017
Project Launch bestows hoodies on college-bound DISHS seniors

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College-bound DISHS students received hoodies with the logos of their chosen institutions from Project Launch’s “We’ve Got Your Back” program, which helps local students and families make a successful transition from high school to post-secondary learning. This year the Island Agency sponsored the gifts. From left, in the front row, are Jordyn Judkins, Ashley Nevells and Caitlyn Morey. In the back row, from left, are Morgan Eaton of the Island Agency, Alex Shorey, Kristina Hutchinson, Liam Griffith, Zach Welch, Kimberly Hutchinson, Ethan Shepard, Chelsea Brown.

Photo courtesy of Kimberly Hutchinson

College-bound seniors at Deer Isle-Stonington High School received hoodies last month with logos from their chosen post-secondary institutions as a gift from the Project Launch “We’ve Got Your Back” program.

This year the annual event, aimed at supporting college-bound seniors, was sponsored by The Island Agency of Stonington.

The program started last year. The idea came to Kimberly Hutchinson, executive director of Project Launch, when she gave her own nephew a a college hoodie at his 2015 DISHS graduation and saw how much he loved it.

“It helped to make him feel like he already belonged at his college. I then thought that maybe this was something we could do for all the college-bound graduating seniors,” Hutchinson said in a press release.

Twelve students in the 2017 graduationg class plan to enter a college program, and they appreciate the hoodies, said Liam Griffith, who plans to attend Maine Maritime Academy.

The “coolest part” of the gift, he said, “is to be able to wear it in public and show my achievement for getting into college.”

The Island Agency owner Morgan Eaton said the program also has a trickle-down effect. “Besides building enthusiasm in the accepted students, it motivates younger students to move towards their higher education goals as they admire their older classmates in their new attire.”

Project Launch was started in 2012 and is an original model that was 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 through college. For more information about Project Launch, call 460-7881 or 348-2303.