SOUTH PORTLAND — Ten Maine community college students were awarded $3,500  scholarships in honor of Leon A. Gorman for the upcoming 2023-24 academic year. The students were celebrated May 15 in an online event with Gorman family members and L.L.Bean  leadership.  

This is the eighth year the Leon A. Gorman Scholarship has been given. The scholarship supports three students at Southern Maine Community College, two students at Central Maine Community College, and one student at the other five colleges. Each of the 10 Leon A. Gorman Scholars will receive an award of $3,500, which equals more than a full year of tuition at a Maine community college. Scholars that receive the Free College Scholarship will receive a $2,000 scholarship.  

The Leon A. Gorman Endowed Scholarship was established in 2014 by the children of Leon and Lisa Gorman in honor of Mr. Gorman’s 80th birthday. The scholarship supports Maine community college students who demonstrate strong academic achievement, financial need, and a commitment to  community service, a hallmark of the scholarship’s namesake.  

“This year’s 10 Leon Gorman Scholars are simply amazing. They have families, jobs, and personal  challenges, all while excelling in their academics. My family and I are honored to recognize their hard  work, commitment, and dedication to their community with the Leon A. Gorman Scholarship. I know  Leon would have been proud of them and proud to have these students represent his legacy,” said  Lisa Gorman.  

The 2023 Leon A. Gorman Scholars are:  

Mya Crowell (Greene), Business, Central Maine Community College;

Reese McAtee (Lisbon), Social Sciences, Central Maine Community College;

Katahdin Javnar (Chester), Business Management, Eastern Maine Community College; 

Kayla Brown (Fairfield), Business Management, Kennebec Valley Community College;

Tori Drost (Presque Isle), Emergency Medical Services, Northern Maine Community College; 

Gilon Backlund (Harrison), Communications and New Media, Southern Maine Community College;  

Rokaya Hobbi (Waterville), Cardiovascular Technology, Southern Maine Community College; 

Tashia Taylor (Brunswick), Nursing, Southern Maine Community College; 

Kristin Crowley (Bath), Human Services and Substance Use & Recovery, Washington County Community College; and 

Mary Weaver (Seabrook, New Hampshire), Nursing, York County Community College. 

Leon Gorman was passionate about the state of Maine. His investments in Maine’s community  colleges exemplified that passion. He understood that Maine’s community colleges not only positively  impact the lives of many aspiring individuals and their families, but also have a positive economic  impact. Quite simply, he believed that well-educated community college graduates forge a bright  future for the State of Maine.  

“We are so honored that Leon Gorman’s family created an endowed scholarship program in his  name. The 10 students we honor today were selected for their academic achievement and service to  their college and community,” said MCCS President David Daigler.  

Mr. Gorman was the longtime president and CEO of L.L.Bean. He was deeply committed to the  people and places of Maine and recognized the power and potential of Maine’s community colleges to  transform people’s lives. He and his wife Lisa worked quietly behind the scenes supporting the  colleges and the couple was central to the 2009 establishment and success of The Foundation for  Maine’s Community Colleges for which Mrs. Gorman continues to serve as vice chair.