Today's Program:  YETE: Youth Empowerment Through Employment (Cory Paquette, Good Will-Hinckley)
Rotary Meeting for Monday, March 16, 2009 held at the Alfond Youth Center - Here is a recap in case you missed our meeting!

Sergeant at Arms
Jeff Jolicoeur was our Sergeant of Arms today.  Thanks, Jeff!!!

Harold Buzzell welcomed us to the meeting today!

50/50 Tickets
Barbara Woodlee sold $106 worth of 50/50 tickets on Scott Bullock's behalf.  Dan Parks won $52  with #053857.  Dan will sell tickets in next week.  Ryan Liberty won 10 free tickets to the next 50/50 drawing.  Matt Clark volunteered to be our Greeter for meeting on March 23rd.

World Service Cups
The World Service cups will support the village of Los Naranjos, Honduras where Alice Anderman travelled to after the holidays.  She will be returning in November and it's hoped the club will send supplies with her for the villagers in need.  Chris Gaunce indicated that the box we have set aside for these items is filling up and encouraged club members to remember that it's there when they bring back the shampoos and toiletries from hotels, etc.

Visiting Rotarians and Guests
Nancy Findlan introduced Cory Paquette, Ryan Kneeland, and Brody Simpson from the YETE Program and several students who participate in the program which will be discussed today.

Kim Lindlof introduced Rosemary Winslow, Waterville City Councilor and Intergovernmental Liaison for Congressman Mike Michaud.

Happy Dollars
Ally shared that she saw Slumdog Millionaire  over the week end and was reminded of all the good work that Rotary does internationally for people in the difficult situations portrayed in the movie, in particular the Safe Passages program.

Bob Ellis was very happy about turning 79 today and also shared that his son, who almost had the same birthday, was born on St. Patrick's Day.  Happy Birthday Bob!!!

Seth Sherwood attended a 3rd Day concert in Bangor over the week end.  He's also very happy about being able to attend the PETS Conference next week end.

Peter Garrett shared his bittersweet dollar today because he had to withdraw from being District Governor for health reasons and will not be going for it again.  Thanks for all you do for Rotary Peter!!

Chris Bryan had 3 Happy Dollars ...  First, for the Cape (Cod) Wind Project that his firm is involved with in Nantucket Sound.  Last Thursday, Massachusetts issued a composite certificate for the project which will allow it to move forward which will be a good thing for the environment and the residents of that region.  Second, St. Patrick's Day is tomorrow.  And third, on Friday, we'll have equal amounts of daylight and darkness . Happy Spring!

Duane Wheeler shared that because of work demands, he's not been able to attend our Monday gatherings.  Now that his schedule has changed, he'll be back.  He also shared that the College Ave, DQ is open and that the economy doesn't seem to have affected the ice cream business, which makes him very happy!

Kim Hawkes thanked all of those Rotarians who supported her in the Polar Bear Dip last wee.  Over 160 dipped and the AYC raised over $20,000.

Karen Heck brought the club up to speed regarding an issue that Hardy Girls has become involved with regarding Dora the Explorer.  Apparently Mattel has announced plans to represent the character as a "tween" in order to market to that age group.  In response, Hardy Girls has initiated an online petition against this plan because of the negative image that it creates for girls.  Karen encouraged the membership to consider filling out a petition and submitting it to Mattel.  She noted that thus far, they have gotten a strong supportive response from parents on this issue.

Today's Program:  YETE: Youth Empowerment Through Employment (Cory Paquette, Good Will-Hinckley)

Nancy Findlan from the Greater Waterville Area Communities for Children and Youth Prevention Coalition introduced our speaker, Cory Paquette, from Good Will-Hinckley who will discuss the YETE Program, which Rotary is a Sponsor of.

Cory provided a brief overview of the program, noting that Youth Empowerment Through Employment is a program designed to teach at risk students the skills needed to find employment, manage their funds and the life skills required to make a positive contribution to the community.  He shared that it is a 26 week program and that they are currently in the 8th week of the current cycle.  Describing the role of the employer, YETE's expectation is that he/she will serve as a role model, preceptor, and mentor and provide a positive experience for the student.  Cory noted that with the completion of the current phase of the curriculum, they will soon be introducing students into the work force.  Yete will be responsible for the student's stipend, which can be supplemented by the employer if additional funding is available for the task the student is hired to perform.  For those Rotarians interested in participating, an Interest Form has been placed on each table and can be returned today or during the week to Nancy.

Cory then introduced Peter and Whitney, who shared their experiences with the program thus far.  Peter, who hopes to attend KVCC and become an electrician, indicated that he has had a good experience and has learned quite a bit about what will be needed, including managing his affairs, budgeting,  and finance.  Whitney, also has gained financial skills and being a more responsible person.  She is planning to attend college next year taking a liberal arts curriculum after initially considering accounting.


   1. What is a day like in the program?

The program meets once a week from 3-5 at the Maine Children's Home.  They frequently take field trips to different career sites such as banking, retail and accounting.  Last week, they met with an individual from the banking industry at the Waterville Public Library.

   2. What kind of Summer employment are you looking for?

Peter, Whitney, and 2 other students indicated that they are interested in accounting, electrical work, hunting/fishing, long term care (CNA), landscaping, etc.

   3. What are your living arrangements?

All are living at home in the Waterville area.

   4. What have you gained the most from the program?

Helping others and becoming more responsible.  For one of the students it was noted that the program has done a great deal for his confidence and life skills.

   5. How many are in the program?


   6. How did you find out about YETE?

Mr. Kneeland recommended it to one student.  The school nurse recommended it to another.  Cory indicated that they will frequently work with the guidance counselors at the local high schools and junior high schools.  This year there were 75 applications for 25 slots.

   7. What are the criteria for acceptance into the program?

The things they take into consideration for acceptance are the current living situation, recommendations, and the prospect for the student's success.

   8. Is transportation an issue?

In some instances it is and they are working on some solutions.

   9. What is the age range for the current students?

15 years  to 20 years.

   10. Is the idea that you are filling a void in the region?

Cory indicated that they are looking for jobs for teens in the region so as to get them into the work force and possibly stay in Maine.  This is why they are collaborating with organizations such as Rotary to create positive interactions in the work place.  Sarah Sugden noted that it's important that kids know that there are adults who care about them.     

    11. Are there any restrictions in the program?

The only restriction is that YETE only subsidizes 20 hours/week.  That said, an employer could go beyond that and either extend (and pay for) additional hours for the student.

   12. What are the other students present interested in?

One is interested in the hunting an fishing industry.  Another is a unit helper in a nursing home and enjoys working with the elderly.  A third is hoping to go to college and law school with the aspiration of becoming a prosecutor in the DA's Office.

   13. Have you changed your focus since getting into the program?

Whitney indicated that the program made her think more about the possibilities of what she could do.  Cory shared that in the first couple of weeks in the program, the students are given career interest inventory assessments which help them to begin to focus on various career paths.

Ally shared that she is really inspired by these kids.  Sarah indicated that she helped with this program in Cambridge (MA) when she was there several years ago.  At that time it started with 20 kids and it now has 800, which points out the type of potential we have here. 

Ally thanked Cory, his staff and the students for sharing their experiences and presented them with a 4 Way Test keychain.

Before concluding today's meeting, those assembled regaled Bob Ellis with a round of Happy Birthday. 

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