The first-place winners of the Future Innovators Camp, front from left, are Stephen Worthley-Argraves, Glenn Keene, Turner Fadiman and Adrian Darlington. Back from left are Wynn Therrien, Rishi Duvvuru and Zachary Ferioli. Submitted photo

Seven high school students, pitching an idea they called “Yett-e” (self-driving snowplow to help elderly Mainers access necessities), won the Future Innovators Camp pitch competition in Portland and were each awarded $10K of scholarships to attend Thomas College in Waterville. Student winners included Adrian Darlington from Portland High School, Glenn Keene from Bucksport High School, Rishi Duvvuru from Hall-Dale High School in Farmingdale, Stephen Worthley-Argraves from Overman Academy, a community regional charter school in Skowhegan; Turner Fadiman from Kennebunk High School, Wynn Therrien from Bucksport High School, and Zachary Ferioli from Marshwood High School in South Berwick, according to a news release from Thomas College.

Second-place winners, pitching an online game for young children designed to increase aspirations in STEM fields for women and minorities, were Carrigan Cyr from R.W. Traip Academy in Kittery, Corbin Richter from Cheverus High School in Portland, Daniel Howard from Richmond High School, Izzabella Simmons from Morse High School in Bath, Jamie Harrington from Kennebunk High School, Natalie Libby from Sacopee Valley High School in Hiram, Tianna Eames from Winslow High School, and Sarah Al Wakeel from Westbrook High School, were awarded a $8K scholarship to attend Thomas College.

Third-place winners, pitching a new type of green crab trap, were Alexander Price from Portland High School, Bay Nadeau from Searsport District High School, Victoria Suslova from Thornton Academy in Saco, Grace Bergeon from Kennebunk High School, Isaac Widmer from Mount View High School in Thorndike, and Josh Bragdon from Searsport High School were awarded a $6K scholarship to attend Thomas College.

In total, $170,000 worth of scholarships were offered as prizes.

These students are part of a group of more than 50 Maine high school students who spent the week in Portland as part of Future Innovators Camp. Educate Maine, Thomas College, and the Roux Institute at Northeastern University have partnered to develop a unique college and career readiness opportunity for Maine students who wish to make a difference in the future of Maine’s economy. The goal is to help grow local and diverse talent in entrepreneurial and tech-forward fields, especially those that tie directly to Maine’s traditional industries such as biotech, green tech, aquaculture, fintech, e-commerce and cybersecurity.

Students spent their nights on Cow Island learning outdoor leadership and teamwork with Rippleffect and their days at the institute learning design thinking with Thomas College and institute professors to prepare for their innovative pitch that they presented at the end of the camp. They were also visited by many professionals across industries in Maine who served as project mentors or shared expertise during lunch talks.


“Future Innovators was a fantastic experience. Being in a room surrounded by such like-minded and intelligent people was energizing. The collective contributions of the members of Team Yett-E allowed us to fully conceptualize and present a winning solution in just a week. Hearing from Maine business leaders and having the opportunity to visit with local businesses was really interesting and gave me insight into career possibilities here in our own state,” said one of the winning students, Turner Fadiman from Kennebunk High School.

The second-place winners of the Future Innovators Camp, front from left, are Carrigan Cyr, Izzabella Simmons, Natalie Libby, Sarah Al Wakeel and Tianna Eames. Back from left, are Daniel Howard, Corbin Richter and Jaime Harrington. Submitted photo

Second-place winner Natalie Libby, Sacopee Valley High School, said, “The innovators experience was a great one. It was very hard to sum it up. Working on our project all week nonstop was the hardest thing I did, but it came out amazing!”

Second-place winner, Jamie Harrington from Kennebunk High School, said, “Over the course of four days, my group and I learned about connecting with our consumer base, creating prototypes, and effectively pitching an idea to our audience. Our STEM education game helped solve real world problems such as limited access to education and lack of diversity in STEM fields. It was a great learning experience and I’m grateful to have been accepted into the program!”

The third-place winners of the Future Innovators Camp, front from left, are Alexander Price, Bay Nadeau and Josh Bragdon. Back from left, are Victoria Suslova, Isaac Widmer and Grace Bergeon. Submitted photo

Third-place winner, Bay Nadeau, from Searsport District High School, said, “What an amazing week! This was a real personal-growth experience for me, and I loved getting to work with such a diversity of other kids to find solutions for real-life problems. I had tons of fun, and it was definitely a great way to start my summer!”

“We were fortunate to be able to recruit from across the state — Madawaska to Kittery, Hiram to Danforth — and everything in between. Schools sent us their top talent — and beyond being individual stars, we learned that these students can work together well to create solutions to some of Maine’s toughest challenges. I have a lot of hope for the future of Maine and I’m excited to see what they all do next!” said Thomas College program director for the Centers of Innovation Amanda Nguyen.

“The enthusiasm and creativity these students brought to campus was energizing,” said Elena Coronado, director of Partnerships at the Roux Institute at Northeastern University. “We are thrilled that these students not only gained awareness of tech careers in Maine from industry partners, faculty and Roux Institute resident founders, but also chose to use their newly honed skills to tackle some of society’s most pressing challenges, like sustainability, and accessibility for underserved communities.”


Jason Judd, executive director of Educate Maine, said, “The students were able to learn essential skills like problem solving, design thinking, and entrepreneurship to offer solutions for both local and global challenges. It was great to see students from across Maine working closely with college faculty and local employers to develop skills that will help them be college and career ready.”

“The Future Innovators Camp is something I wish all high school students could experience,” said Bangor Savings Bank Senior Vice President/ Director Talent, Diversity & Inclusion David Pease. “The experience was inspiring and magical as the students build their ideas from surveys to final pitches. I was very honored to coach and mentor these amazing students and future Maine leaders!”

High school students attended from Baxter Academy for Technology and Science in Portland, Bucksport High School, Cape Elizabeth High School, Casco Bay High School in Portland, Cheverus High School, Deering High School in Portland, Dexter Regional High School, East Grand School in Danforth, Hall-Dale High School, Kennebunk High School, Lincoln Academy in Newcastle, Madawaska Middle High School, Maine Academy of Natural Sciences Hinckley, Marshwood High School, Massabesic High School in Waldoboro, Morse High School, Mount View High School, Oceanside High School in Rockland, Overman Academy, Portland High School, R.W. Traip Academy, Richmond High School, Sacopee Valley High School, Searsport District High  School, Thornton Academy, Westbrook High School, Winslow High School and Yarmouth High School.

Event sponsors were WEX, Bangor Savings Bank, MEMIC, The Boulos Company, Central Maine Power Co., and Harvard Pilgrim.


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