Maine Humanities Council announces Student Humanities Ambassadors

The Maine Humanities Council (MHC) announced that Abigayle Hopkins from Machias Memorial High School in Machias and Victoria Simons from Noble High School in Berwick are the first Student Humanities Ambassadors in Maine.

Selected from among rising 10th or 11th grade students interested in community engagement through the humanities, the Student Humanities Ambassadors work with the MHC to identify a topic and create, plan, run and evaluate a humanities-based program or event within their community. The ambassadors receive a $1,000 grant from the MHC to support their programs.

Simons is planning a film project featuring the students of North Berwick Elementary School and their ideas about fear: what it means to them, how they overcome it and what it means to be brave. Her vision is for the students to be the center of the movie as well as having input throughout the process.

Hopkins is organizing a public panel discussion on feminism, to which local high school students and members of the greater Machias community will be invited. The inspiration for, and centerpiece of, the event is the actress Emma Watson’s speech on feminism at the U.N. After watching the speech, the panel will be invited to share their perspectives and then take questions from the audience. Charley Martin-Berry, assistant director of the Community Caring Collaborative, will facilitate the program.

“We are eager to work with our ambassadors, learn more about their communities, and help them to create a meaningful humanities program. It’s also a wonderful opportunity for us to create deeper relationships and share resources with Maine’s students and educators,” said Hayden Anderson, executive MHC director.

Simons’ film will be screened in May at Noble High School in Berwick and Hopkin’s program is scheduled for either March 16 or March 23 at the Performing Arts Center at the University of Maine in Machias.

Applications for the 2015-16 Student Humanities Ambassadors are now being taken. The deadline is March 31. For more details on the Student Humanities Ambassador Program including application information and further information on the events led by this year’s winners, visit the MHC website.