Unum, a Portland-based employee benefits provider, has donated $300,000 to a girls’ leadership program spearheaded by former U.S. Sen. Olympia Snowe.

The gift to the Olympia Snowe Women’s Leadership Institute will be matched by Harold Alfond Foundation’s $1.4 million challenge grant to the institute.

“As we expand to serve 465 young women statewide this year, I am deeply grateful for Unum’s consistent and unwavering support of our organization as we help prepare the next generation of leaders to be successful in their lives, families, careers and communities,” Snowe said in a written statement announcing the donation.

After serving for 18 years as a U.S. senator, Snowe retired in 2013 and founded the institute two years later to encourage the confidence and aspirations of high school girls throughout Maine.

The gift from Unum will be divided into two parts: $150,000 in an unrestricted donation, and a separate $150,000 matching grant to encourage other corporations to support the institute’s work.

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