Maine non-profit embarks on $28 million grant initiative, welcomes new project director

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Deborah Gilmer

AUGUSTA – Syntiro is delighted to introduce Deborah Gilmer as the Project Director for GEAR UP Maine RISE (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs). With a rich background in education and a strong commitment to student success, Gilmer’s appointment promises to drive the GEAR UP Maine RISE program to new heights. Gilmer has been President of Syntiro for more than ten years.

Gilmer brings a wealth of expertise to her role as Project Director, having earned a Bachelor’s of Arts in Sociology and an M.Ed. in Special Education from the University of Maine. Her illustrious career has been marked by an unwavering dedication to empowering students and championing educational excellence.

Gilmer has been a change agent her entire career; she has introduced innovative and emerging best practices to address inequity and social justice in the areas of community and school inclusion, positive behavior supports, improving education and employment for migrant and seasonal farmworkers and economically disadvantaged youth and adults including those with disabilities.

“As I step into the role of Project Director for GEAR UP Maine RISE, I am deeply honored and excited to lead this transformative initiative,” expressed Gilmer. “I am committed to working collaboratively with our schools, families, and community partners to ensure that every Maine student has access to the resources required to achieve their dreams. Together, we will forge a brighter future for the next generation.”

GEAR UP Maine RISE is a statewide initiative in partnership with UMF committed to enhancing college and career readiness of Maine’s students. The program offers resources, guidance, and support to help students navigate the path to higher education, empowering them to achieve their full potential.

For more information about the GEAR UP Maine RISE, please visit:

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