Cutler Institute for Health and Social Policy

Children, Youth and Families

Esther Attean honored by Americans Who Tell the Truth Project

Esther Attean, training specialist at the Muskie School of Public Service, has been honored by artist Robert Shetterly’s Americans Who Tell the Truth (AWTT) project, an initiative to promote models of courageous citizenship in schools and communities around the country.

The AWTT combines art and history, portrait and narrative, in student-centered presentations that empower and inspire action for the common good. Attean’s portrait, which was unveiled December 4 at a public ceremony at the State Capital Building, will join more than 200 others on the AWTT website and will be included in traveling exhibits that present people throughout American history who have worked for social, economic, and environmental justice.

Attean, a Passamaquoddy Tribal citizen, is co-director of Maine Wabanaki REACH (Reconciliation, Engagement, Advocacy, Change, and Healing) and co-founder of the Maine Wabanaki-State Child Welfare Truth and Reconciliation Commission process. The Commission, which was officially mandated by the five Wabanaki Chiefs and the Maine Governor Paul LePage in June 2012, represents a historic agreement to uncover and acknowledge the truth of what happened to Wabanaki children and families in the Maine child welfare system, create opportunities to heal and learn from the truth, and collaborate to improve the child welfare system for Wabanaki children and families.

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Nellie Mae Education Foundation nominates Pious Ali for the Lawrence W. O'Toole Award

Pious Ali

Pious Ali, Youth and Community Engagement Specialist in Cutler’s Children, Youth, and Families Programs, has been nominated for the Lawrence W. O’Toole Award by the Nellie Mae Education Foundation. Pious is one of six nominees from the New England states.

The Nellie Mae Education Foundation believes that student-centered learning – where learning is personalized, engaging, competency-based and not restricted to the classroom – will prepare young people to graduate high school ready to contribute to their communities and succeed. This award is given out each year to an individual, school district, or non-profit that has exhibited great leadership in moving student-centered approaches to learning forward in the New England region.

The winner will be selected by online voting and will be awarded a $100,000 grant to help advance student centered learning!


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MYTC 2014 Celebration

Colby Swettberg, May 2014, MYTC

Every year the Maine Youth Transition Collaborative brings together youth and adult partners from around Maine to celebrate the year's achievements and milestones.

MYTC’s fourth annual celebration dinner was held at the Brunswick Hotel and Tavern on May 13, 2014. Over seventy young adults, adult partners, professionals, legislators, adoptive families, and friends came together for an evening of fun, renewed connections, learning, and good food.

The importance of mentors in the lives of young people was the theme for the evening. The keynote speaker, Colby Swettberg, Executive Director of Adoption and Foster Care Mentoring in Boston, was introduced by Jacob Hills. Ms. Swettberg talked about what good mentor-mentee relationships look like for youth in foster care and led a discussion about best practices and challenges to bringing youth and mentors together.

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