Sandra Stone and The Casco Foundation support young women high school students to study Global Entrepreneurship in Dublin or Berlin through CIEE’s Global Navigator Summer High School Abroad programs.
Sandra reflects on the reasons why she supports young women to study on CIEE’s Global Entrepreneurship programs:
Why is it important to you to support high-school-age students interested in entrepreneurship?
I support entrepreneurship programs to grow the pipeline of future small business owners and innovative, creative thinking! This seems critical to me for the future of Maine’s economic and even social services capacity and sustainability.
I chose a scholarship grant focusing on high school age students for the possibility of greater impact at that very evolving phase in their young adulthood. I hope to further enhance a student’s aspirational awareness, empower a sense of autonomy and agency about their future and broaden their curiosity in the possibilities of a self-created career while gaining an understanding of the challenges and effort required. I feel an immersion experience abroad expands any person’s cultural awareness, flexibility, and adaptability as it stretches a person out of their familiar comfort zone. These kinds of experiences can often be a catalyst for personal growth, and I would hope to seed the desire to further explore other opportunities, and even one’s own ideas, goals, and dreams.
It is my intention to focus on female high school students, as it seems that grades 9-12 is a particularly vulnerable confidence-eroding phase, and I want to encourage opening their eyes to more possibilities, thinking bigger, and developing their self-confidence. I hope to encourage more female founders of new startups, perhaps even in Maine.
What do you see as the value of a global educational experience?
I’m a huge believer in education and feel that travel, when approached with curious openness to difference and exploring outside of one’s own comfort zone, can provide opportunities for self-awareness, understanding, and growth.
What have you most enjoyed about supporting CIEE students?
I was searching for a Maine high school level program online and was so pleased to discover the CIEE program in entrepreneurship headquartered right here in Portland, Maine. I was thrilled to find that they also bring a summer cohort from the Baltics here for the same three-week program that they offer in Dublin, Ireland, and Berlin, Germany, and have enjoyed networking the past two years of programming to some of my entrepreneurial and innovation contacts and resources. This July, after having just returned from a two-week cruise in the Baltics, I served as a judge for the students’ pitch showcase. Not only was that fun, and very impressive to witness the quality of the teams, but being present for the special closure of that cohort’s program was meaningful for me as a donor.
Why is it important to support a local, Maine student?
I live and love being part of the innovation ecosystem growing here in Maine. So if I can help seed a few more courageous, gritty, creative young minds in my adoptive home state, I feel energized, and really just more fulfilled.
Read the student's story here.
Support students on CIEE Global Navigator Programs here.