NorthStar 4-H Youth Mentoring Program

group hike in forestThe University of Maine 4-H Camp and Learning Center at Bryant Pond’s NorthStar program is a hands-on mentoring program that connects young people with caring adults through community engagement, cultural exchange, and adventure challenge and leadership. The SAD #44 community was chosen as one of the pilot sites because of its strong partnership with the Bryant Pond 4-H Center and a culture of volunteerism in district towns.

The NorthStar model follows students over a six-year period that starts in the 7th grade and ends the summer after high school graduation.


  1. Expand students’ horizons and build confidence through civic engagement, community service, and outdoor experiences.
  2. Increase self-resilience and foster the determination to succeed.
  3. Expand individual leadership and community-building skills.
  4. Raise aspirations and help to set career or college goals, supporting students and families as needs arise. 

Participants continually engage with caring adult mentors; including the NorthStar Coordinator, Lyndsey Smith, volunteer mentors, parents, school staff members, business owners, and community leaders. The Bethel Area Nonprofit Collaborative is an important NorthStar partner helping connect the program to other local organizations and groups. 

NorthStar has been designed around the 10 Youth programming Principles developed by Trekkers, Inc. The Trekkers model relies on consistent, long-term mentoring over a six-year period. NorthStar is funded by the Rural Futures Fund of Portland, Maine, which supports efforts to raise and sustain the post-secondary school aspirations of rural Maine students.

Community Supporters

Program Sponsors

Aspirations Incubator logo

In complying with the letter and spirit of applicable laws and pursuing its own goals of diversity, the University of Maine System does not discriminate on the grounds of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, transgender status, gender, gender identity or expression, ethnicity, national origin, citizenship status, familial status, ancestry, age, disability physical or mental, genetic information, or veterans or military status in employment, education, and all other programs and activities. The University provides reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals with disabilities upon request. The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding non-discrimination policies: Director of Equal Opportunity, 101 Boudreau Hall, University of Maine, Orono, ME 04469-5754, 207.581.1226, TTY 711 (Maine Relay System).