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Trustees of Maine Higher Education Association to visit UMFK to award local student scholarship

November 25, 2005

NR05191

Kristen Belanger

The trustees of the Maine Higher Education Assistance Foundation, recognizing the importance of education and student difficulty in meeting financial demands, are pleased to announce that on Tuesday, December 6, a scholarship, for $1,000 will be awarded to Kristen Belanger, a senior, attending the University of Maine at Fort Kent.

She will be presented the award at a special luncheon held at UMFK's Acadia House with members of the Maine Bankers Association, UMFK community, St. John Valley legislators, and family members present.

Following graduation from Fort Kent Community High School in 2002, Belanger attended Thomas College in Waterville. Then in 2004, she returned to Fort Kent to attend UMFK.

At Fort Kent, Belanger is majoring in E-Commerce and maintains a high grade point average.

In addition to being a full-time student at UMFK, Belanger is employed in the billing department at Northern Maine Medical Center.

She is the daughter of Melvin and Ann Belanger of Wallagrass.

The Maine Higher Education Assistance Foundation was established in the 1950's to support a guarantee fund for student loans. The founders included a wide range of banks, businesses, community organizations, and individuals.

In 1990, the MeHEAF trustees, the Maine Bankers Association board of directors, seeking to continue the original intent of the founding members, began a scholarship program funded by the return of the original loan guarantee funds.

This year the MeHEAF trustees have selected thirteen Maine colleges and universities to receive scholarships.

The participating school chooses student scholarship recipients who are in their second, third, or fourth year, and are Maine high school graduates majoring in a business related subject.

The colleges and universities select the recipients based upon academic standing and financial need.

All scholarships are awarded for second semester expenses.

"It is a great honor to be given this scholarship, especially being that I am the first E-Commerce student to receive this award. It is quite an accomplishment, things like this don't happen to small town girls," said Belanger.

Since 1990, a total of $202,400 in scholarships has been awarded. In 2005, an additional $13,000 will be awarded to thirteen students.

Aside from UMFK, other schools receiving MeHEAF scholarships this year include the University of Maine at Machias, University of Maine, University of Maine at Farmington, University of Southern Maine, University of Maine at Presque Isle, University of Maine at Augusta, University of Maine Lewiston/Auburn, the University of New England in Biddeford and Westbrook, St. Joseph's College, Husson College, Thomas College, and Northern Maine Community College.

Previous scholarship recipients from the University of Maine at Fort Kent include Justin Dubois in 2004; Diane Madore in 2003; Laura Deschaine in 2002; Cindy Coulombe in 2001; Michelle Comeau-Dumond in 2000; Jeremy MacArthur in 1999; Leslie Guerrette in 1998; Amanda L'Italian in 1997; Kristy Parent in 1996; Charles Dechene in 1995; Robin Raymond in 1994; James Gagnon in 1993; Mary Rossignol in 1992; Patty O'Leary and Jeanette Beaulieu in 1991; and Joseph Marin and Michael Abbott in 1990.

The Maine Higher Education Assistance Foundation is administered by the Maine Bankers Association and is located in Augusta.

Maine Bankers Association President Joseph Pietroski will make the presentation.