Five community projects are vying for a $500 grand prize that will be awarded to one finalist at the League of Young Voters' Launch Maine party this Friday evening.

Thirty-one proposals were submitted for consideration, with focuses ranging from engaging youth in the arts to increasing alt-transport and recycling opportunities to educating young people about finance, sign language, or street harassment. More than 1700 online votes were cast, and five finalists emerged:

ARTVAN A mobile program that will bring arts materials and inspiration to youth ages 2-18 in low-income areas of Bath, Biddeford, Brunswick, and Lewiston/Auburn.

BLUNT YOUTH RADIO Focused on the Greater Portland area, the Blunt Youth Radio Project provides a forum for free and incarcerated high-school students to research, discuss, and produce live radio broadcasts (WMPG and streaming online) on topics as diverse as drug use, environmental greenwashing, and "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."

545 & CO. + RABBIT, RABBIT EXHIBITIONS An art collaborative in Bar Harbor that hopes to renovate an old space in town to showcase the work of local artists and musicians. They are starting by raising money and awareness through their monthly 'Rabbit, Rabbit' showcases in the Mount Desert Island area.

TAKE ACTION PORTLAND (TAP) Bringing together young people and local organizations that need volunteers, with the goal of increasing community engagement and making volunteering easy.

ZIP LINE PHYSICS A collaboration between Portland High School and Camp Ketcha (the non-profit outdoor education facility in Scarborough), this project will bring students together to design and implement a zip line, using real world applications to teach math and physics.

The Launch Maine contest, paid for by sponsors and individual donors, was the League's attempt to both spur and celebrate youth-led programs that enrich local communities. Mainers between 16 and 35 were encouraged to apply. While the jackpot isn't tremendous, the process was remarkable in that it empowered young people at all stages, including in the spearheading and writing of the proposals.

It also "marks an effort to expand statewide," says Nicola Wells, the League's state director. "This contest was open to young people across the state, and all were encouraged to apply. We now have an organizing hub in Lewiston/Auburn and are using social media to bring our tools and support to young people throughout Maine."

Vote for your favorite of the finalists (through ranked-choice voting, of course) and/or give an additional monetary donation at the League of Young Voters' Launch Maine party | Maine Ballroom Dance Studio, 614 Congress St, Portland | Friday, April 6 from 5-7 pm |

  Topics: This Just In , elections, League of Young Voters, Voting,  More more >
| More

Most Popular
Share this entry with Delicious
    Among last year’s 100 top-grossing films, women represented just 15 percent of protagonists, and less than one-third of total characters.
    Former Mainer Shanna McNair started The New Guard, an independent, multi-genre literary review, in order to exalt the writer, no matter if that writer was well-established or just starting out.
  •   NO TAR SANDS  |  July 10, 2014
    “People’s feelings are clear...they don’t want to be known as the tar sands capitol of the United States."
  •   YOUR GUIDE TO ALL THINGS PRIDE!  |  June 19, 2014
    From the outset, O’Connor says, they were “foward-focused” — they had to be, given that they were basically starting from scratch — and committed to being as inclusive, positive, accessible, and transparent as possible.
  •   A RUBY CELEBRATION  |  June 18, 2014
    Hundreds of people — “a who’s who of gay liberation” at the time — came to the first-ever Maine Gay Symposium in April 1974.

 See all articles by: DEIRDRE FULTON