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Forum on the Future, “Poverty in Maine: How Can We Help?”

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Forum on the Future
“Poverty in Maine: How Can We Help?”

Sunday, March 17th, 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Jewett Auditorium, UMA Augusta Campus


The University of Maine at Augusta (UMA) College of Arts and Science and the UMA Senior College will present, as part of its Forum on the Future series, a panel discussion entitled “Poverty in Maine: How Can We Help?” at Jewett Hall on UMA’s Augusta campus on Sunday, March 17, 2019 (snow date March 31). The forum is free and open to the public.

The panel discussion will begin at 2:00 pm with a refreshment break, followed by a question and answer period until 4:00 p.m. UMASC Forums on the Future are intended to be presentations of information and ideas, and not a debate. This presentation seeks to provide attendees with insight into problems faced by those living in poverty, as well as a better understanding of the programs that support individuals to attain independence, and how the public can support these programs. Speakers will include:

Karen Wyman is the Education and Legal Advocacy Coordinator for the Maine Equal Justice Program (MEJP). A nonprofit, this organization focuses upon many issues that affect people’s daily lives, and they are the leading experts in the state on federal and state policies for Maine’s anti-poverty programs. Ms. Wyman will speak about the functions of her program as well as how the public can offer support.

Cheryl Golek is one of the founders of the Vicarage by the Sea, a long-term alternative care home for those who have dementia. She is a dementia care specialist and has a certificate in social gerontology, and is a bold political advocate. Cheryl’s early life was marked by poverty, and this informs her understanding of the economic realities that Mainers face and a desire to find real solutions to poverty. She is a member of MEJP’s Circle, a project of Maine Equal Justice that supports Mainers who have experienced poverty to develop leadership and advocacy skills.

Susan Emmerling is a Family Services Coordinator with Head Start in Maine, where she has been employed for forty years and brings a wealth of experience from that program. She works with families of all ages (including grandparents raising grandchildren) helping them find appropriate resources according to the family’s own goals, linking them to health care options and even providing transportation at times to appointments, such as doctors and dentists.

Penny Higgins, Ed.D, R.N. will moderate the Forum. Her past experience in nursing education includes working with both patients and students from communities with diverse characteristics.

For more information about UMASC and its other activities, visit https://www.umasc.org/ or contact UMASC at 621-3551 or by email at umasc@maine.edu.