Gracie Fund

Student Loan Repayment Program for Washington County Residents

If you consider Washington County your home and plan to stay here, the Gracie Fund can help you repay your student loans.

The Gracie Fund fosters community development by helping recipients connect to Washington County through their commitment to a career and community service. Loan repayment awards of $5,000 will be awarded to up to three individuals each year.

Applications are due July 15, 2024.

“When I came to Maine, I wished I had been born here. There is an integrity in Maine’s communities that is worth preserving. It is a dynamic way of life with generations of value.”

Donor of the Gracie Fund

Community Service

The key component of the Gracie Program is community service. With the assistance of the fund administrators, participants will develop a volunteer action plan outlining short and longterms goals based on his/her interests and skills. Washington County offers a multitude of volunteer opportunities. Action plans might entail working with a local development group on attracting businesses to the area, assisting in designing a comprehensive plan for your town, volunteering with a local arts or human services agency or serving on a town board. Participants will be connected to the area’s leaders and organizations by the staff at the Sunrise Economic Council, which has developed networks and partnerships of residents working together for the benefit of Washington County, many of whom are graduates of the Washington County Leadership Institute.

History and Purpose

The Gracie Fund offers tuition-reimbursement incentives to encourage natives of Washington County, or those who consider Washington County their “home,” to establish new and deeper roots in their communities following completion of their post-secondary education. The Gracie Fund fosters community development by helping recipients connect to Washington County through their commitment to a career and community service. School loan repayment awards of up to $5,000 will be awarded to three individuals each year. Awards may be renewed for up to three years. The IRS considers these awards taxable income.

Eligibility

The Gracie Fund invites applications from natives of Washington County, or those who consider Washington County their “home,” who have graduated from college within five years of the date of application and are building a professional and personal life in Washington County. Preference will be given to applicants moving back to Washington County. The preference is for applicants who intend to work and live in Washington County for a minimum of two years. Applicants must commit to fulfill their community service obligation by volunteering with a Washington County organization (i.e. social services agency, library, school, church, sports team, etc.). Applicants must commit to active participation in the Gracie program (i.e. action plan, attend semi-annual meetings of Gracie participants). Applicants may not be in default on a loan or have deferred loans.

Selection Criteria

Award consideration will be based on:
1. Evidence of a strong commitment to establishing new and deeper roots in Washington
County.
2. Evidence of prior community service.
3. Evidence of financial need.

Deadline extended — Applications must be postmarked by September 15 and returned to:
Gracie Fund
Maine Community Foundation
245 Main Street
Ellsworth, ME 04605

Jennifer Peters

Jennifer Peters

Director of community Development

Contact me with any Gracie Fund questions!
207-255-0983