Main Street Fellows AmeriCorps Program
The Maine Downtown Center is overjoyed to announce our inaugural team of Main Street Fellows! This superstar team will apply their considerable skills and talents to provide Biddeford, Gardiner, Rockland, and Skowhegan, as well as several other MDC member communities with a collective 8,500 hours of support to help develop systems and strategies for a more resilient future. A central focus will be on increasing social capital, fostering more welcoming and equitable communities, and sharing new mindsets and models needed for communities to thrive. The Fellows are serving as a part of Maine’s robust network of AmeriCorps volunteers.
Meet the 2020 Main Street Fellows
Eliot List is a 2019 graduate of Franklin & Marshall college with a B.A. in International Studies and Spanish. Born in Rumford and raised in nearby Bethel, Maine, Eliot has always held his home state near to his heart and is excited to once again have the opportunity to live and work in Maine. As a Main Street Fellow, Eliot is looking forward to engaging with members of the Skowhegan community to identify ways to grow out of the pandemic stronger and more resilient than before. Prior to his service with the Main Street Fellow Program, Eliot worked as a consultant at The Beacon Group, a growth strategy consulting firm in Portland, Maine. In addition to his time as a consultant, Eliot spent a year as an English teacher in Italy. Following his service, Eliot is looking forward to undertaking a Fulbright English teaching assistantship in Colombia. Outside of work, Eliot is a lover of all sports active and outdoors. In the winter you can find him dogsledding, camping, skiing or in search of the next adventure!
Nicholas Adams is a 2020 Master’s of economics graduate from Kent State University. Throughout his time at Kent State his research focused on economic inequality in America. Among a long list of internships worked throughout his academic career, most recently he worked as a fellow for a Cleveland nonprofit serving small businesses in Northeast Ohio as an independent consultant. Nick has a passion for helping others and serving his community. In his free time he enjoys reading, hiking, golfing, cooking, hammocking and studying Italian. Working in the Main Street Fellows Program will give Nick the opportunity to serve others while using the skills he gained from his masters degree. This program is exactly what he pictured a dream job to be when he started his economics course work.
Maggie Hirshland is a recent graduate from the University of Virginia, where she double majored in Public Policy and Youth & Social Innovation. Her academic, professional and extracurricular interests converge at the intersection of social policy, research, and practice. Over the past few years she has had the opportunity to serve as a Research Assistant at the EdPolicyWorks Lab, where she explored the effectiveness of virtual reality classroom simulations on teacher preparation, and at the Thriving Cities Lab, where she helped develop a Field Guide for Urban University Community Partnerships. She has also held positions at the XQ Institute, a non profit dedicated to rethinking high schools, as a Strategy & Engagement Intern, and at the Office of Boston City Councilor Andrea Campbell, as a Policy & Constituent Services Intern. Maggie is interested in learning about and participating in community engaged and people centered approaches to community development, and is excited for the opportunity to further develop and hone these skills through service in the Main Street Fellows Program. Originally from Needham, Massachusetts, Maggie is excited to be returning to New England to explore and get to know the Rockland and greater mid-coast Maine region!
Nat Blackford grew up in the woods and waters of Maine and has always felt lucky to live here. He has a Joint BA in Environmental Studies and Anthropology from Middlebury College and a Graduate Certificate in Applied GIS from the University of Southern Maine. His work background is in energy efficiency and environmental education. When he’s not working, he can often be found gardening, reading, or going for a hike. He’s really excited to help Maine communities share best practices and learn from each other as we all work through the Covid-19 pandemic.
Perri Williams is a 22 year-old recent graduate of WVU’s MPA program. She is a native West Virginian with a passion for community development and outreach work, which she’s looking forward to utilizing during her placement in Gardiner, Maine. Outside of work you can find her enjoying the outdoors, trying a new restaurant, or catching up on her favorite podcast.
Sam Perry is pursuing graduate studies through USM’s Masters of Leadership program. Previously, Sam has held positions in Student Affairs, LGBTQ+ advocacy, and food service where he has worked with a diverse array of communities and developed skills he looks forward to bringing to the Biddeford community. Growing up, he watched a struggling city nearby evolve to where it flourishes today. Sam believes Biddeford can and should have the same. He believes with the combined forces of the digital age and global pandemic, community building is important now more than ever. When he is not working or studying, Sam can be found cooking, traveling, watching the Bruins game, or attending to one of his many side projects.