Bates student named Mitchell Scholar

Brandi Richards ’98 of Kingfield is one of 20 Maine residents named to receive a $2,500 scholarship from a fund created by former U.S. Sen. George J. Mitchell.

Richards, a double major in psychology and women’s studies, was chosen from among more than 250 applicants on the basis of academic achievement, financial need, community spirit and public service.

The Sen. George J. Mitchell Scholarship Fund was created in 1994 when Mitchell, the Senate majority leader, retired from Congress. He made an initial gift of $1 million from his accumulated campaign funds. An additional $500,000 was added to the fund through benefit events in Washington, D.C., and Portland.

In establishing the fund, Mitchell recalled that his parents had little income and little formal education, but worked all their lives to give their children a good education.

“They valued learning and they conveyed that value to their children,” Mitchell said in announcing the fund. “I was fortunate to get a good education. Because of that, because of the openness of American society and because of the support I’ve received from the people of Maine, I am now able to help others, as I was once helped.”

Mitchell stipulated that no high school will qualify for a second scholarship until a student from each high school in the state has received one. Maine residents who attend a four-year college in the state are eligible.

Richards, a dean’s list student, is a graduate of Mount Abram High School in Salem. She is the daughter of Bonita Richards of Kingfield and Mark Richards of Strong.

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