Passages Opens Office at University of Maine at Machias

The Community Schools at Opportunity Farm and Camden are pleased to announce the opening of a new Passages office at The University of Maine, Machias. Passages is a home-based high school diploma program for teen parents which provides individualized instruction in students’ own homes, eliminating the need to secure daily transportation and child care in order to attend school.

Passages was founded in 1994 by The Community School, and originally served Knox, Lincoln and Waldo counties. In 2008, through a collaboration with The Cobscook Community Learning Center, Passages expanded to Washington County and in 2011, The Community School merged with Opportunity Farm for Boys and Girls, allowing them to further expand Passages to Androscoggin, Sagadahoc and Cumberland counties. All Passages Programs are now under the administrative umbrella of The Community Schools at Opportunity Farm and Camden, with three office sites: Camden, Opportunity Farm and UMaine Machias.

Passages Program Director Martha Kempe is thrilled that longtime Passages Teacher Cora Townsend, who joined the team in 2009, has accepted a new position as Teacher and Program Coordinator for Washington County. Cora received her BS in Education from the University of Maine at Machias in 1996 and has owned her own restaurant, been Director of Daycare at the Regional Medical Center in Lubec and worked with young adults and their children for many years.  Kempe is also so pleased to welcome new teacher Fern Hilyard to The Washington County Passages team. Fern, who recently spent a summer in London volunteering with a therapeutic horticulture facility for those struggling with mental health issues, has spent the past 15 years teaching special and gifted students and focusing on art and writing. 

Passages is open and free to all young parents, both male and female. Students design their own learning plans, meet at home once a week with their teachers, communicate online and by phone between visits, and get together with other students for group activities and community service. Students study a combination of academic, parenting and life skills. Through it all, they discover their strengths, connect with their families, practice personal responsibility, and contribute to their communities. For more information about how to apply to Passages in Washington County, or to learn more about upcoming workshops and events, call 255-1468,  visit Room 101, Torrey Hall, UMaine Machias or go online to