Impact of Fishing Trips

A recent update from a Long Creek Juvenile Community Corrections Officer (caseworker):
I wanted to pass along what happened on the fishing trip on Monday as I think it’s important to let the powers that be know the profound effect that this is having on youth.
I have a youth in transition on my caseloads whose family is in turmoil right now and they have quite a bit going on in their world. I offered the young man to attend the fishing trip with a family member so that they could have some reprieve from the chaos that they are currently dealing with. He could not find a family member that could take him for a number of different reasons and was pretty disappointed about not being able to go, we were however (a big shout out to my supervisor) able to take him during a weekday. I was able to clear my schedule and bring this young man on a fishing trip, it was about an hour ride to the boat launch and we really got in depth about how much of a burden this young man carries because of the stuff going on with his family.  One thing that I expressed to him over and over on the ride was that this was going to be a day where he could just let it all go and all he had to focus on was fishing and for 8 hours he could be a 15 year old!! We had a great day fishing and caught probably 60+ fish total for the day and he was able to experience some things that he had never done before.. At one point I was talking to him and he turned to me and said “All I am focusing on is fishing!!” with a huge smile on his face. For what it’s worth this young man was able to let all the day to day stuff go and just focus on catching fish!!! This truly has been an eye opening experience and one that I will push to continue for the youth that we work with in the community!!

Friends of Long Creek Report June 2017-June 2018

Friends of Long Creek (FOLC) is a non-profit organization that continues to help young people at the facility, as well as those who are transitioning out. We also support programs for juveniles who have been involved in the criminal justice system, but are not at Long Creek Youth Development Center.

Some of the programs that FOLC has supported and strengthened during the past year include:

Creek to College – This is our flagship program that pays for college level classes, some taught at SMCC, and some at Long Creek. In this past spring semester, 2018, the students were extremely successful in their work, mostly earning A and B grades in a variety of courses.

Small Engine Repair – This is a newer program, which was initiated and supported by Friends of Long Creek. Students learn how to take apart and repair small engines, a useful skill when they seek employment. The Friends’ board has worked this year to improve and refine the program to maximize effectiveness.

Music Program – We have continued to provide major funding, which we renewed in May 2018, to support music lessons for kids at Long Creek provided by instructors from the Maine Academy of Modern Music.

Maine Inside Out (MIO) – This innovative program provides residents with opportunities to participate in dramatic presentations about their own lives. We have supported MIO’s efforts especially to provide these programs for kids as they transition to life outside the facility.

Transition Funds – We provide funds to assist residents who are transitioning from the facility. They often need clothes, housewares, and other materials as they make a new start.

Athletic Funds – Long Creek fields many interscholastic teams and we provide funds for athletic equipment, as well as meals when they travel to away games.

These are just some of the programs and activities that are supported by the Friends of Long Creek. Our work would not be possible without the many people who help support the kids at the facility.

New Slate of Board Members and Officers

The Friends voted in a new slate of board members and officers at our June meeting. Officers for 2018 are Marian McCue, president; Mike Fortunato, vice president; Susan Giambalvo, treasurer; and David Putnam, secretary. We thank immediate past president Jim Willey for his dedicated leadership and service to the Friends. We have significantly increased our ability to meet our mission during his tenure, especially advancing job training and education initiatives for Long Creek Residents. We look forward to continuing our work and welcoming incoming Superintendent Caroline Raymond.

Friends of Long Creek Abbreviated List of Activities: July, 2016 – June, 2017

This has been a turbulent year at Long Creek Youth Development Center, which has made our efforts to support these troubled kids even more important than usual. The Friends have remained focused on our mission to support programs directed toward returning youth in the Maine criminal justice system to their communities as productive citizens. We hope that this short summation of our activities will make our members and donors proud of our efforts and of their support. Read our full report here.

Back to School

8 youth at Long Creek are taking advantage of two college credit courses being offered this semester thanks to the Friends of Long Creek’s Creek to College program and a collaboration with Southern Maine Community College.

Cultural Anthropology and Oral Communications are being taught inside the facility making a college education accessible to students whose circumstances would otherwise prevent attendance.

Another student is taking an online math course, Advanced Algebra and Trigonometry.

One student says, “Thank you for the opportunity to better ourselves as people and students. I took three courses through Creek to College and, for the first time in my life since I dropped out of high school, pushed myself to the best of my circumstances. I passed with all A’s and received a new burst of confidence in my education that would not have been possible without the help of the Friends.

Campus Tours

The Friends of Long Creek helped support an SMCC (Southern Maine Community College) campus tour for eleven very eager and extremely well-behaved residents this month. The students met with an admissions officer, took a student-led tour, and enjoyed a delicious meal in the cafeteria. Chef Ogden from the LDYDC (Long Creek Youth Development Center) culinary program made arrangements for himself and the culinary students to take a special tour of the SMCC culinary program facility while we were there.

The vocational training facilities at SMCC impressed our residents most. Their eyes lit up when they entered the massive automotive repair building, where they enjoyed “talking trucks and engines” with an instructor. Another highlight was the in-depth tour we got of the Integrated Manufacturing Technology Program — led by the department head, himself. The precision manufacturing facility at SMCC is beyond amazing.

Thank you to all those who prioritized the college trips, helped make them happen, and went the extra mile to allow all eleven residents to go. The visits were incredibly inspiring for our guys. Most have never been on a college campus before, and there’s just no substitute for seeing, listening to, and feeling what it’s really like. The students came back excited about applying to college after the SMCC visit.

Helping Maine's troubled youth find their way © 2016