Travel Scholarships

Partners in Island Education now oversees four scholarships as part of its mission to enhance educational opportunities for the students of Vinalhaven. Two of these are for travel and education.

PIE’s Student Travel & Education Scholarship

Click Here to Download the 2019 Travel Scholarship handout

High School Travel & Education Scholarship Information Sheet & Application Link Middle School Travel & Education Scholarship Application Link


Thanks to the generosity of summer families, PIE is able to offer a scholarship to support educational programs and travel opportunities to Vinalhaven students that they may not have otherwise. The one time gifts range in amounts of up to $2500. Scholarship application deadlines are December 1st and May 1st of each year.

2018 Travel & Education Scholarship Recipient Reflections

Timothy Farrelly, a 2018 Travel & Education Scholarship recipient had this reflection upon his return:

Tim and his Nepal travel group.

“On the afternoon of July 13th, I met my Putney Student Travel group in New York City. The next morning at 4 a.m. we were to begin our trip to Nepal, where we would participate in community service activities. After two flights and over thirty hours of travel, via Hong Kong, we arrived in Kathmandu, Nepal. By this point, thanks to the travel, our entire group had already bonded. We were all from different areas of the United States, but the fact that we chose a lesser-developed country to travel to, over, for example, Europe, said a lot about our personalities, and that brought us closer together.

This trip to Nepal was my first time traveling outside of the United States, and it was very valuable to me for multiple reasons. For one, I am very interested in learning about other countries and cultures so I got to learn firsthand about Nepal and its many cultures. Also, I got to learn about the issues countries like Nepal face including: poverty, child mortality, access to education, and sex trafficking. Finally, and most importantly, I built connections with people in Nepal. Specifically The Small World who help eradicate the issues mentioned above, and most memorably the friends I made in my group who made it three of the best weeks I had ever had.”


Jackson Day, a 2018 Travel & Education Scholarship recipient had this reflection upon his return:

Jackson at an Intensive Law and Trial program at Stanford University

“From July 2 to July 12, I was attending Stanford University in sunny Palo Alto, California for a 10-day program on Intensive Law and Trial. Upon getting to the campus, the hardest thing for me to get used to would be being around that many new people at a time. Once everyone was settled in, we went to the first of many lectures that we went through in the 10 days we were there. These lectures would teach us the structure and basic procedure during a trial as well as teach us different loopholes to get us out of certain situations. Then on the last day, we had a mock trial to get real experience of how it all comes together in the real world.

It was a busy time with a lot to do, but here are some of my favorite parts. While we were there, the 250 scholars attending the program were split into groups that were called our Firms. Any time our firm got together to discuss and work on preparing our trial, it was not only fun but educational as well. Our advisor was helpful, and had been doing mock trial for a few years. She knew what she was talking about, and made it easier to follow than the experts giving lectures. I also enjoyed going to the Fishermen’s Wharf on Pier 39 in San Francisco. There was a lot to do there and I got to make stronger bonds with the kids in my firm. Overall, it was an interesting experience, and appreciate the opportunity the scholarship gave me. Thank you!”


Ben Burgess, a 2018 Travel & Education Scholarship recipient had this reflection upon his return:

Ben at the Maine College of Art

“Thank you for investing in my future by granting me the generous P.I.E. Scholarship. Without it, I would not have been able to attend the Pre-College Program at the Maine College of Art. I had an amazing experience at MECA.

While I was there, I took three main classes. These classes were Ceramics, Woodworking and Furniture Design, and Life Drawing. In ceramics, I learned how to wedge clay, use underglaze, and I used the pottery wheel. In Woodworking and Furniture Design, I learned how to manage my time wisely to finish all of my projects, how to sculpt wood, and I also got to see how different this class was compared to my father’s shop class. In Life Drawing, I got to use charcoal, charcoal dust, and graphite to draw my projects. I had never been in a Live Drawing class before – when I went to MECA, it was a whole new experience for me but I easily liked the class.

I also did a lot of activities within the city of Portland. I went to a gelato shop, a small store on the side of the road that sold gelato. I also went to the movie theater where I saw Ant man and the Wasp. We enjoyed a morning at Portland Headlight exploring the fort ruins. I attended a Sea Dogs baseball game followed by fireworks.

I had a really fun and amazing time at MECA. I gained a lot of knowledge and skill in Woodworking, Ceramics, and Life Drawing. I explored the area around MECA, looked around at all the different shops, and I went to the movies. I made a lot of friends that I still contact today. I thought this experience was important because it helped to find a career that I could look forward to after I graduate from high school.”


2017 Travel & Education Scholarship Recipient Reflections

Polina Walsh, a 2017 Travel & Education Scholarship recipient had this reflection upon her return:

Polina at Future Leader Camp at Norwich University

“Future Leader Camp (FLC) was a window that allowed me to view into my upcoming freshman year at Norwich University (NU). Knowing the standards that NU sets for students in the Corps of Cadets (CC), I understood that I had signed up for intense training in FLC. By motivating myself to step out of my comfort zone I would become ready to take on the real world.

Every day was something new. My least favorite activity was when I rappelled off an 88-foot cliff; my favorite was paintballing and the Field Training Exercise (FTX). We learned how to tie knots, build a hooch (a tent made of logs and leaves), read maps, identify tracks and build snares, start fires, find edible plants, and filter water. We shot airsoft rifles, learned what to bring when camping, did archery, and built a bonfire the size of three cars.I’m proud of myself for sticking through the two weeks, and I am proud and ready to attend Norwich University.”


Jordan Radley, a 2017 Travel & Education Scholarship recipient had this reflection upon his return:

Jordan Radley at the Congress of Future Science & Technology Leaders

“From June 29th to July 1st I attended the Congress of Future Science and Technology Leaders in Lowell, Massachusetts. Thousands of student delegates from across the country congregated at the Tsongas Center in downtown Lowell to discover secrets of success from some of the most influential people in the fields of science and technology. Among the dozens of speakers were MIT graduates and Nobel Prize winners. 

My favorite speaker was Dr. Robert Metcalfe, inventor of the ethernet, founder of 3com, and a recipient of the National Medal of Technology and Innovation. I was lucky enough to meet Dr. Metcalfe (who has ties to Vinalhaven) before his presentation and talk to him about the Congress and the importance of making lasting connections. Ironically, this summer, I ran into him at Greets Eats and he invited me to have lunch with him and his friends, who each gave me tips on decisions regarding my future education.

The experience at the Congress helped me rethink my future and taught me that the key to success is to work hard, never give up, and do what you love.”


Gilleyanne Davis-Oakes, a 2017 Travel & Education Scholarship recipient had these thoughts upon her return:

Community Service in Costa Rica

“My trip to Costa Rica with others from across the US, gave me a chance to participate in new activities, meet new people, try to speak a new language, eat new foods, and really immerse myself in the Costa Rican culture. 

We went tubing down rivers, zip lining through the jungle, and white water rafting. I stayed with a Spanish speaking family, saw landmarks such volcanos and hot springs, and went on night hikes to learn about animals in the forest. We built a wall for a local home, and played with kids at a local school. During our free time, our group shared lots of fun and laughter.

I am very thankful to PIE for giving me unforgettable memories from this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to travel and experience all these adventures.”


2016 Travel & Education Scholarship Recipient Reflections

Andrea Shane, a 2016 Travel & Education Scholarship recipient, returned from a 5-month stay in Guatemala, with this reflection:

My namesake, André, was the biggest and one of the nicest snakes we had at the exotic animal rescue.

“I decided my Junior year that I was going to take a gap year and come to Guatemala. I’m so glad that I stuck with my decision because it has been life changing.

I have volunteered with both children and animals, most of my time with exotic animals. We rescued animals people brought to us or animals being smuggled across the border. We treated and released them back into the wild if they were able, but if not they lived with us permanently. It is such a unique experience I would have never had if I did not come to Guatemala.

Not only did I get to volunteer and help people and animals, but I experienced a whole different life I never really knew existed. I have a better understanding of the world and what’s outside of my tiny little island that I grew up on. Living in a third world country also made me appreciate the life I have back home. I am so fortunate to have everything I do and that I was able to come on this trip and realize this.

If you are thinking about volunteering abroad, do it, you will not regret it. Thank you to the Island Institute and to PIE for helping me make this happen.”


PIE’s Experiment in International Living Scholarship

Another exciting new scholarship opportunity! In partnership with The Experiment, PIE is offering a scholarship to ONE high school student per year who applies and is accepted into The Experiment summer program. PIE will contribute $2500 and The Experiment will contribute $2500 to this scholarship, making a total of $5000.

Keaton Lear is our very first EIL scholarship recipient who traveled to Spain this past summer in the Language and Cultural Traditions program. Here is a reflection from

Keaton with new friends 

Keaton upon his return:

“My trip to Spain through the PIE/Experiment in International Living Scholarship was unforgettable and has certainly made a difference in my life.  It changed the way I view myself by showing me that I can learn a lot while still having a good time. Not only did I learn a great deal about Spain – the country the language and the people – I learned that there are people just like us all over the globe who like to travel, make friends, and have fun. I am most thankful for the opportunity PIE and The Experiment gave me to become lifelong friends with some of them.” 

Click Here to Download The 2019 Experiment Scholarship information sheet