- Nate Faessler '12: Helping to Launch a Career
- Lillian Costello '15: “You're Changing Lives.”
- Message from the Chair
- Message from the Executive Director
In 2011, the MSSM Foundation helped Nate Fasessler and two other MSSM students accompany researchers from the University of Maine's AEWC Advanced Structures and Composites Center on a trip to MARIN, a large-scale facility for testing floating wind turbines in the Netherlands. That trip helped Nate win a scholarship to attend the University of Maine and work in the AEWC lab.
Nate is from Sanford, Maine. His first introduction to MSSM came as a fifth-grade summer camper. He was so impressed with the MSSM student counselors that he knew he wanted to come here for high school. He’s glad he did; he would have exhausted his local high school’s math offerings as a junior.
MSSM has done more than just provide Nate with advanced math courses. It has helped him hone his childhood interest in alternative energy into a career path. Last year, the entire school toured the AEWC in Orono and saw cutting-edge research in wind and tidal energy. Then in the Netherlands, Nate gained inside access to a state-of-the-art engineering facility with wave pools, highly sophisticated testing equipment, and scale models of super-tankers, turbines, and platforms. He met engineers from MARIN, Maine Maritime Academy, and the University of Maine and interacted with Dr. Habib Dagher, the AEWC’s director.
Four days later, back in Maine, Nate and classmate Darius Haskell won the AEWC’s Windstorm Challenge, a competition in which students construct floating wind turbines. They received internships worth up to $20,000 to work in the AEWC lab while studying engineering at the University of Maine. Nate credits their win to the Netherlands trip. “Our design placed second in testing by just a few points but our presentation scored first by a lot and that’s how we won. The Netherlands trip gave it to us - we had a more educated view on where wind energy is headed.”
Nate says, “I am thrilled that I’m going to go to the University of Maine and be involved in these programs. That’s really where I want to be, and my confidence in knowing that is really all because of MSSM.”
Lil Costello came to MSSM from the small town of Milo, Maine, to pursue her dream of becoming an astronaut. In just one year, she has already experienced the role that the MSSM Foundation will have in her education – she conducted experiments in the newly renovated greenhouse, traveled to the state science fair, and tinkered with printers, electronics, and robots in the robotics lab. Happy in her decision to switch schools, she says, “I think MSSM is going to play a big role in my goals.” When asked what she'd tell people who donate to the MSSM Foundation, Lil says, “You're changing lives.”
Lil's great grandfather was a military pilot who worked with the first Apollo astronauts. Ever since inheriting his memorabilia, she has dreamed of becoming an astronaut herself. But her school wasn't preparing her. Through elementary and middle school, she was ahead of her peers and not getting extra enrichment from her teachers. She even experienced bullying. Finally one interested teacher helped her learn Algebra I outside of class and another instructor told her about MSSM. She attended an open house and was hooked. “The people were amazing,” she recalls.
In her first-year chemistry class, Lil tested the effect of water temperature on plant growth in the hydroponics facility funded by grants from the Perloff Family Foundation. That led to a trip to the Maine State Science Fair, paid for by the MSSM Foundation. Seeing student research from across the state and presenting to judges was a “really great experience,” recalls Lil.
Lil is glad she chose MSSM. “If I'd stayed [at my sending school], I wouldn't have gotten the education that I'm getting here. It's challenging and yet it's doable.” She credits the support of classmates and faculty with helping her make the transition. Lil hopes to attend a military academy and major in aeronautical engineering after MSSM.
Dear Friends of MSSM,
If you are reading this note, you probably already have an affection for MSSM. Maybe it’s because your son or daughter attended MSSM, and you witnessed the school’s life changing influence on them. Maybe you are an alumnus, and you know how the school impacted your life. Or, possibly you don’t know us, and are just curious about this plucky little school in far northern Maine.
I became involved with the MSSM Foundation because of the wonderful experience my son had at the Maine School of Science and Mathematics. When I see the adult he is today, I can draw a direct line back to this school and the impact it had on him. I wanted to give back to the school some of what this school gave to my family.
Since joining the Board, I’ve personally seen how this institution works it magic on everyone who comes in contact with it – summer campers, students, faculty, parents, the people of Limestone, and the larger communities of Aroostook County and Maine.
Today, MSSM's enrollment is growing, and we’ve added a new dorm to accommodate this growth. We are attracting superb faculty from across the country, and developing new programs using new spaces like the Thompson Greenhouse. As Board Chair, I am delighted to report that MSSM is benefiting more Maine students and teachers than ever before. MSSM’s spirit and momentum is inspiring.
The MSSM Foundation has and will play a key role in this growth. Through the generosity of our donors, we make possible activities, programs, and investments that the school's traditional public funding sources simply cannot cover. Most importantly, we help to ensure that all Maine students regardless of financial circumstances gain access to and participate fully in the MSSM experience. Since its formation in 1994, the Foundation has raised over $1.6 million in support of this unique school.
If you have not given to MSSM in the past, I ask you to consider doing so now. And, to the many staff members, parents, alumni, and friends who already generously support the school with their gifts, you have my deepest thanks. It is your caring, your enthusiasm, and your financial support that keeps MSSM strong and growing.
Chair, MSSM Foundation
As MSSM's Executive Director, I strive to provide students the most enriching educational experience possible and to ensure that each of them can experience it fully. The MSSM Foundation is vital to making that happen. Private and philanthropic contributions support activities, programs, investments, and student assistance that the school's traditional public funding sources simply cannot cover.
When I think of the MSSM Foundation, I recall high school students who overcome financial hardships thanks to the foundation's assistance; I think of middle school students who had their first summer camp experience thanks to scholarships; and I remember the many times I turned to the Foundation as a teacher to fund activities that captivated and motivated my students.
On behalf of the entire MSSM community, please accept my heartfelt thanks for your support. We see your gifts to the MSSM Foundation as investments - in our students, our faculty, and our institution. Thank you for investing in MSSM.
Luke C. Shorty, ’98
MSSM Executive Director