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
Carolyn Zelikow is a 2020 graduate of the Darden School of Business at UVA. Highlights of her studies include a summer internship with the hedge fund Bridgewater Associates, researching foreign policy for the Bloomberg presidential campaign, consulting with the product design collective Lot 2046, and a semester-long exchange in Shanghai. Prior to graduate school, Carolyn served as special deputy to the Executive Vice President of Institutional Advancement at the Aspen Institute, a global center for public policy based in Washington, DC. Her portfolio there included the Urban Innovation Lab, the Future of Work Initiative, and the Aspen Ideas Festival. Before joining Aspen, Carolyn was the first employee and marketing director for Tom Tom Fest, a multi-disciplinary weeklong celebration of entrepreneurship and culture in American small cities. A Charlottesville native, she holds a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature from the University of Virginia. In her spare time, she enjoys reading and the outdoors.
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.