Cutler Institute for Health and Social Policy

Children, Youth and Families

Patricia Toole

Training Coordinator
Patricia Toole


12 E. Chestnut Street, Augusta

Contact Information

Phone: (207) 626-5239

Pat has worked on behalf of Maine citizens for more than two decades. As an income maintenance specialist, she administered the Food Supplement, MaineCare, and TANF programs in the Bangor regional office for the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). Based on her regional experience as a trusted mentor for new specialists, she eagerly began teaching as a staff trainer for the Standard Eligibility Policy Training (SEPT) program at its inception in 2000, modifying curriculum content and evolving policy applications. As coordinator, she continues to facilitate classroom teaching as well as mentor staff based on her consistent insightful understanding of policy for all three programs, as well as her experience of organizational history. Pat is excited that technology has been instrumental to making process change implementation more efficient. Her experience provides a sound basis for teaching ACES functionality for all three programs.

Her knowledge of adult learning theory, particularly cognitive apprenticeship and situated cognition, supports the value of formal mentoring to optimize transfer of learning in the workplace. Developing online modules for self-directed study requires an appreciation of motivation and engagement of the adult learner. Not only is solid training practice a key to individual job satisfaction and competence, but it is instrumental to departmental retention goals and sound fiscal stewardship. Pat’s training experience with DHHS assistance programs has provided an opportunity to exercise her commitment to social justice for Maine’s low income residents.

Her interests include educational psychology, adult learning theory, cognitive decline in aging women, and particular skill development and mentoring for women in nontraditional occupations.

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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