Meet Your Upward Bound Team

A little history and some fun facts about the people that will be working with you while you navigate through high school and college applications.

I was born and raised in the mountains of rural Western Maine, where I spent most of my time outdoors, playing soccer and softball, skiing, golfing, and mastering some considerably unusual skills, like trapping snapping turtles and collecting tips for my parent’s seasonal wreath business. An Upward Bound student in high school, I went on to attend USM and worked for Upward Bound as a college student. I am in my 14th year working for a program I love and am passionate about. I have three kids and enjoy spending lots of time outdoors with them and my husband, enjoying our chickens, playing sports, and tending to the garden. I have a soft spot in my heart for chocolate, coffee, and a warm afternoon in the sun.

If you could take students on a field trip anywhere in the world, where would you take them and why? I would start by tackling a road trip across the U.S. There is so much to see, and the memories made on the drive alone would be well worth it!

What is your favorite movie? The Princess Bride: adventures, sword fighting, rodents of unusual size. Need I say more?

Hello, I look forward to getting to know you and watching you achieve your goals of attending and graduating college. Of course, I would much rather have this conversation in person, but until that day I thought I would tell you a little about myself. I am a graduate of Northern Vermont University at Johnson Vermont with a degree in psychology. I have worked with adolescents and their families ever since.

Either at an Outdoor wilderness school in Vermont or at Sweetser here in Maine. Over the last 15 years, I have been here at Trio Upward Bound. A fun fact about me is that for my honeymoon I hiked the Appalachian Trail. My three kids join us as we go on our adventures in Maine. When I was in H.S., I had to say my favorite thing to eat would be pizza and French fries. I have always LOVED the movies The Breakfast Club and The Princess Bride, and if you have not seen them, I highly recommend them. Lastly, if we were to take a trip get ready for a long plane ride as I have always wanted to go to Australia. So welcome to Upward Bound look forward to getting to know you!

I am a very competitive person who loves participating in and watching sports and enjoys indoor rock climbing as a main form of fitness. I recently earned my master’s degree in clinical counseling from the University of Southern Maine and enjoy putting my knowledge of the brain to use during student meetings. UB coworkers have voted me “Most likely to continually re-read the Harry Potter Series.” I like reading new books, and while fantasy and graphic novels (comic books) are my favorites, I have started dabbling in memoirs and nonfiction.

What is your favorite movie? “Quest for Camelot”

Did you pass your driving test on the first attempt? Yes, I did! Getting a license was a huge right of passage in my family, and it meant having the freedom to drive around by myself (as an introvert, sometimes I went for drives just to have time alone outside the house). I worked hard to purchase my first car and was ready to hit the road. I just had to pass the test. Starting at the age of 15 (you can’t get your permit until 16 in Massachusetts where I grew up), I paid attention to my parents when they drove and started asking questions. I even asked my parents to practice in empty parking lots, which they agreed to. With all of my studying, I passed on my first attempt and was very relieved and proud of myself.

My name is Mel, and I’m the new Communications Specialist for Upward Bound. I’ve lived in 4 out of the 6 states in New England at some point in my life, and I recently moved to Maine from Burlington, Vermont. I went to Saint Michael’s College for my undergraduate degree, and I have worked in higher education for the past five years. I love to ski, play soccer, read, try new coffee shops, watch reality game shows, and run the occasional half-marathon.

Did you pass your driving test on the first attempt? Yes! I was the youngest of all my friends, so I got to listen to their stories of why they failed and make sure I didn’t make the same mistakes.

What was your favorite cafeteria food while you were in school? French toast sticks! I used to love maple syrup so much I would drink it from the bottle.

I had never lived more than 40 minutes from the hospital I was born in or my parents until I moved to Maine in 2009. Excitement when I was young included being outdoors when no chores were to be done. Tree climbing, four-wheeling, dirt-biking around the neighborhood, and hanging out with friends. Being adventurous meant riding the bale elevator to the hayloft, jumping off without breaking your neck, or swinging on a rope from hayloft to hayloft. Nowadays, I define adventure a little differently. We travel, and I’ve finished my first degree here in Maine. It’s never too late, but it does get harder. I’m currently working on my second degree before committing to grad school. If I can do it, you can do it.

Did you pass your driving test on the first attempt? No, I did not. I found out that rolling through stop signs is not allowed. I learned to drive tractors and pickup trucks on empty country roads where roll-throughs happened all the time. I did, however, pass my test in a stick shift, Pontiac T-1000.

What was your favorite cafeteria food while you were in school? Macaroni and cheese. Not even the worst cafeteria worker could mess up boxed mac and cheese. It was always a safe bet. To this day, macaroni, cheese, and a hot dog are my favorite meals.

Learn more about the Upward Bound staff on our People page.