Community college network accepts Noyce Award

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Some of the central organizers of the Franklin County Community College Network grouped around FCCCN student Karen Henderson, who is holding the 2008 Noyce Award for Nonprofit Excellence. In the front row (from left to right) is: Executive Director Alison Hagerstrom, with Greater Franklin Development Corporation, FCCCN Liason Betty Gensel, Henderson, Director Ray Therrien, who runs the SAD 9 Adult Education program and Paul Scalzone, of Coastal Enterprises Inc. In the back row (from left to right) is: Dr. Doug Dunlap, a pastor of the First Congregational Church of Wilton, Director Gary Perlson, who runs the SAD 58 Adult Education program, and Central Maine Community College representative Bryan Wallace.

PORTLAND – A local college network accepted a prestigious award from the Maine Community Foundation this week, the latest of a litany of commendations.

“The 2008 Noyce Award for Nonprofit Excellence goes to the Franklin County Community College Network,” MaineCF Chairman Ken Spirer told the audience, “in recognition of its extraordinary collaborative work to improve the region’s economic viability by providing residents with the opportunity to develop marketable skills that lead to well-paying jobs.”

The award is named for Elizabeth Noyce (1930 -1996), a philanthropist who supported the creation and growth of a number of nonprofit agencies. Along with the award, FCCCN will receive an unrestricted $10,000 grant. FCCCN was entered into consideration for the award after being given a $2,500 Community Building Award on MaineCF’s 25th anniversary. The 16 recipients, one in each county, which received that award became the semi-finalists for the Noyce award. A committee weighed the value of each organization and then unanimously gave the Noyce award to FCCCN.

“FCCCN’s ability to bring businesses, nonprofits, educational institutions, agencies and state legislators together in a collaborative exchange is a powerful demonstration of community-building skills,” said MaineCF President Henry Schmelzer, after the announcement.

Past winners include the Maine Migrant Health Program, Coastal Enterprises, Inc., and the Maine Mountain Sustainable Development Initiative.

The award was presented at the “Inspiring Philanthropy” event at the USM’s Abromson Center, Monday evening. Accepting the Noyce award on the network’s behalf was student Karen Henderson. Spirer noted that the Phillips student was herself an example of the network’s strengths. Henderson, after attending community college classes out of Mt. Abram High School in nearby Salem, is now enrolling in a radiology degree program with Kennebec Valley Community College.

After accepting the award, Henderson was joined onstage by a number of the central organizers behind FCCCN.

“It was an incredible experience,” SAD 58 Adult Education Director Gary Perlson said, “pretty powerful stuff.”

Karen Henderson accepting the Noyce award from MaineCF Chairman Ken Spirer

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