• Project Launch (PL) is an original model and was established in 2012 to help local students and their families make a successful transition from high school to post-secondary learning.

  • More than 120 college-bound students have voluntarily enrolled in our program.

  • Before PL, more than 45% of local high school graduates that entered a post-secondary degree program had dropped out by the end of their first semester. After the first semester, drop-out rates rose even higher.

  • We have significantly increased college retention rates and the number of local students who have graduated with college degrees. 

  • Over 65% of students enrolled in our program are the first in their family to attend college.

  • PL is free and open to any Deer Isle-Stonington High School graduate who wants to further their education after high school.

  • In 2019 we expanded our efforts to include students who don't attend college but instead choose to enter the workforce directly after high school graduation. 


“Project Launch is dedicated to making the program the most successful it can be. Each year they evaluate their work and make adjustments. It's clearly working - kids are staying in college and earning degrees. College graduation and retention rates are major concerns in a state like Maine that is desperate for young, qualified workers. Project Launch is a local solution that is working. It's a model program and other schools and institutions that also want to take on this challenge are paying attention to what's been developed here.”

- Andrea Perry, Program Officer, Broad Reach Fund


  • PL provides critical support to our local students! The transition to college can be filled with challenges that include how to finance it, understand academic requirements, establish a support system, make social connections and adjust to life in a new location.

  • Approximately 75% of students enrolled in our program have already successfully completed a college degree or are still enrolled. Before PL, only 45% of local students who entered a college program actually graduated with a degree.

  • The transition to the workforce can also be stressful! Common challenges include how to find a meaningful position, be successful in interviews, craft an effective resume, become familiar with employer expectations, and get along with others in the workplace.



  • PL works in partnership with the high school guidance office.  This collaboration helps us to support students while they are in high school and also throughout their transition to college and the workforce.

  • Our College Bound Program (CBP) works with students and their families on college readiness and transition, including the application and financial aid process, academic requirements, special needs and making the adjustment to the responsibilities and demands of college.

  • Our Workforce Bound Program (WBP) is targeted towards those students who choose to enter the workforce. The workforce program is a partnership with area employees and includes apprenticeships, internships and job placement for local students. PL will link students with opportunities in their chosen career field, including career exploration and skill building courses while still in high school.


"We believe in the value of your program. What you doing is a great benefit to our island community, now and in the future. The program is successful and effective. It changes young people's lives in a very positive way."

- Loring & Claudette Kydd, Project Launch Supporters