American Graduate Champion – Central Maine Motors Auto Group

For several years now, Central Maine Motors Auto Group has had a unique partnership with the Mid-Maine Technical Center at Waterville Senior High School. The ambition is to find student interns who are interested in careers in an automotive industry. The students work at Central Maine Motors Auto Group locations part-time after school, and when possible, full-time during summers and school vacation breaks. In addition to our video interns, other students gain experience in automotive service and repair, our reconditioning & detailing shop, our collision repair shop and in video production.

The video interns we hire are rising seniors studying mass media and they work here from one summer to the next summer until they are ready to leave for college or other post high school plans. They’re part of our marketing team and produce videos for our four YouTube channels and special videos for company events, retiring employees or to capture our company involvement in community projects.

On and off through most of this summer we have been working on a special video project with Maine Public Television. Dave Boardman is a Mass Media instructor at Mid-Maine Tech Center. He is also Education Coordinator for the Maine Education Project at Maine Public. Dave recommends certain of his tech center students for us to interview. His students are then the video interns that we have hired over the past few years.

Earlier this summer we were approached by regarding a special video project in conjunction with Maine Public television and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) via WNET in NYC, NY. The American Graduate Day broadcast celebrates “Champions” who support community-based solutions to help keep youth on the track to a high school diploma and beyond.

Dave asked if we’d be interested in creating an “American Graduate Champion” video. He felt strongly that Chris Gaunce and Central Maine Motors Auto Group were worthy of the “Champion” mantle. We just needed to tell the story and capture it on video. Dave had the confidence that his two students / our interns had the skills to make a great video. His feedback and their skills confirmed that to be a fact. We worked the entire project in-house starting with creating the “story” we wanted to tell. The two interns, Brayden Paine and Sydney Orcutt had the hands-on work, from behind-the-camera time, to calming interviewees, to the finely tuned editing required to craft the finished 90 second video.

Early in September, we received word that our video had made the first round of review. This meant that the video has been recently airing on Maine Public television during prime-time programming. Now in late September, we have just received the exciting news that our project has been selected for the national “American Graduate Day’ broadcast.  This will be on Saturday October 14, starting at 2pm and running through 6pm.

Company vice president Chris Gaunce can now proudly wear the title of “American Graduate Champion

A huge “thank you” goes to Brayden (now at Southern Maine Community College) & Sydney ( Messalonskee High School) for their excellent work and commitment to the project. This is an amazing entry for their resume as high school senior & college freshman.  Huge thanks to all who also appear in the video, specifically Auto Group employees (and former student interns) Hannah Whitaker & Tyler Pooler for sharing their stories.

Central Maine Motors Auto Group values our longstanding relationship with the instructors and administrators at Mid-Maine Technical Center. Together we are teaching and mentoring students who will go (and have already gone) onto their careers. They are using the skills taught to them at the MMTC and honed here in a real day-to-day business setting experience at CMMAG.