Barrett Thiboutot (left) and Maggie York are this year’s recipients of scholarships from the Mingo Club.
The Mingo Club, of Bailey Island, gives a $1,000 grant to a graduating Harpswell senior every year. This year, it gave two, both to graduates of Mt. Ararat High School.
Barrett Thiboutot served as a captain of two varsity teams, tennis and soccer. She coached Little Dribblers basketball, cleaned up the streets of Harpswell on Earth Days, and volunteered for Cundy’s Harbor Days. She wrote with pride about her hometown: “Harpswell is nothing like any of the neighboring towns. I grew up going to events at the town hall, getting lobster rolls at the Block and Tackle, and sweeping Watson’s General Store for a gold dollar.”
Thiboutot is attending Rollins College in Florida. “My greatest challenge has been being so far away from my family,” she said of her first semester. “Although I spent many days feeling lost, now I’m so busy with schoolwork that I don’t have much time to think about anything else.”
She offered the following advice to graduating seniors: “First, really enjoy your last year — it will go by so fast. Second, do not put off applying to colleges until the last minute. I did this and it caused so much unnecessary stress.”
Thiboutot said that going to Rollins has put a financial burden on her family and she was grateful to be able to relieve some of that stress with the Mingo grant.
A self-described “island girl,” Maggie York has made Christmas ornaments and holiday baskets for the elderly and sick; bought and wrapped presents for children in need; placed American flags beside veterans’ graves at the Bailey Island cemetery; and collected returnables for Smile Train, an organization that repairs cleft palates. At Mt. Ararat High School, she participated in the jazz and marching bands, the civil rights team, the art club and LGBTQIA club, and Mt. Ararat Stage Company.
York plans to combine her interests in art and helping others by studying fashion media at Lasell University in Massachusetts. “I want to work with people to help them find their personal styles and to feel good about themselves,” she said.
She deferred her admission for one semester to take advantage of Maine’s free community college initiative. “I can get my core courses out of the way,” she said. This will allow her to save money and give her more time close to home.
York advised current high school students to take advantage of help that is offered, because teachers want their students to succeed; and not to be afraid of making their own decisions about college, because everyone’s path looks different and that’s OK.
The Mingo Club members are proud of their contribution to these two students’ bright futures.