Dot Larrabee Youth Development Fund

What is the Larrabee Fund?

The Dot Larrabee Youth Development Fund (DLYDF) is a fund that provides aid in support of vocational and educational goals for youth involved with New Beginnings programs, “with an emphasis on promoting positive youth development.” 

Overcoming small barriers can make all of the difference for young people who may not have other sources of economic support, and the Larrabee Fund helps to fill in those gaps with scholarships that provide “Seed Money for Dreams.”

Dot Larrabee, one of New Beginnings’ founders and the namesake of the Fund.

Who can apply?

All youth currently participating in New Beginnings programs (Shelter, TLP/CLP, & Outreach Case Management) can apply for either the Education & Employment Fund ($100 – $1,500) or the Youth Development Fund (up to $500).

Alumni up to age 24 can apply for the Education & Employment Fund ($100 – $1,500) but are not eligible to apply for the Youth Development Fund.

If you have questions about your eligibility, please email Rachel Spencer-Reed at rachel@newbeginmaine.org.

What can the fund help with?

The Dot Larrabee Youth Development Fund is split into two funding streams that can help with different client needs as follows:

EDUCATION & EMPLOYMENT FUND

Eligibility: Current clients & alumni up to age 24
Award range: $100 – $1,500

Can pay for…

  • Tuition; class fees
  • Reducing college loans
  • School supplies, books, etc
  • Bus tickets to go to school
  • Computer for school
  • Clothes for work

In keeping with the goal of the Fund, awards have been made for a wide variety of purposes, ranging from bus tickets for commuting to school to more traditional needs like tuition fees and books or reducing the amount of loans that a student needs to attend college. However, requests must be directly related to continuing education or vocational training. Youth have used their grants from the fund to attend Central Maine Community College, the University of Maine system, and several private colleges. DLYDF has also supported vocational training such as courses in automotives, welding, Certified Nurse’s Aide, courses through local Adult Education Centers, as well as for one-time education-related conferences or training sessions.

The Larrabee Fund is intended to supplement other forms of financial aid, such as loans, scholarships, or personal savings.  It can help to fill in the gaps when other sources fall short, or for fees or needs that aren’t covered by traditional scholarships.  The minimum regular award is $100, and awards rarely exceed $1,500.  Youth may apply to this fund multiple times.

YOUTH DEVELOPMENT FUND

Eligibility: Current clients
Award range: Up to $500

Can pay for…

  • Class to pursue a personal interest (art, music, sports)
  • Attending conferences or other youth leadership opportunities
  • Driver’s education; driving hours
  • Fees, clothing, supplies for extracurricular activities

The uses listed above are not an exhaustive list – this fund is designed to help young people pursue and develop their interests. There is no minimum amount; the maximum is $500. Youth may apply for this fund multiple times.

I'm interested! How can I apply?

There are 3 easy steps to applying for the DLYDF:

1. Youth who are currently in a New Beginnings program should talk with staff about their need.

2. Fill out an application (links available in sidebar to the right), hand it in to NB staff member, or mail it in.

3. Meet with the funding committee to discuss the application.

Where can I get an application?

1.   You can download and print a copy of the application for either fund using the sidebar to the right, or with these links:

2.   Pick up an application at any of the New Beginnings sites:

  • Outreach Drop-In Center or Agency Admin offices, 134 College Street, Lewiston
  • Shelter, 491 Main St., Lewiston
  • Transitional Living Program Offices, 436 Main St. and 597 Main St., Lewiston
  • Farmington Outreach, 124 Main St., Farmington
  • Community Living Program, 151 Sewall St., Augusta  

3.  Call the Administration office at 795-4077 and request that an application be sent to you.

When are applications due, and where do I turn it in?

Applications are accepted year-round, on an as-needed basis.  It is recommended that applications be submitted at least a month in advance of need, whenever possible.

Applications can be dropped off at any New Beginnings program site or mailed to:

DLYDF, New Beginnings

134 College Street

Lewiston, ME 04240

How are the decisions made?

A committee made up of staff, youth, and Board members/advisors schedule meetings as needed to make award decisions.  The process for reviewing applications, scheduling interviews, and making decisions generally takes about 3 weeks.

History of the Fund

In the late 1990’s, New Beginnings had a dream.  We wanted to find a way to support the youth in our programs to grow into the future, beyond the basics of housing and case management that are funded by our grants. We wanted to help them to pursue educational opportunities, vocational training, and experiences such as attending state and national conferences.  Above all, we wanted this funding to be flexible, easy to access, and responsive to the unique circumstances of the youth who used our programs.

To bring this dream to reality, we turned to one of the founders of our agency, Dorothy “Dot” Larrabee.  A retired social worker and a tireless volunteer advocate for children, Dot agreed to lead the fundraising drive to create a permanent, endowed fund at New Beginnings.  She kicked off the drive with a very generous donation of her own, and worked with the youngest member of our Board, 15–year-old Anna Bullett, to lead the campaign.  Within a few years, we reached our goal through the contributions of more than 300 individuals, businesses, and foundations have contributed to the Fund since 1999.

The first two awards were given out at our Annual Meeting in 2001. Since then, the DLYDF committee has funded dozens of applications from youth in all of New Beginnings’ programs. 

Dot Larrabee passed away in 2015 after a long life filled with helping others.  Her legacy lives on through the DLDYF and the people whose lives she touched through her advocacy for children and teens.

Apply to the Fund

EDUCATION & EMPLOYMENT FUND

Eligibility: Current clients and alumni up to age 24
Award range: $100 – $1,500

YOUTH DEVELOPMENT FUND

Eligibility: Current clients
Award range: Up to $500

When complete, you can submit your application:

By email: rachel@newbeginmaine.org
By fax: (207) 795-4080
By mail:
New Beginnings
Attn: Larrabee Fund
134 College Street
Lewiston, ME 04240

Questions about the application? Call us at (207) 795-4077 and ask for Rachel.

Meet the Staff

Rachel Spencer-Reed

Rachel Spencer-Reed

Director of Development & Community Relations

rachel@newbeginmaine.org
(207) 795-4077 ext. 204

Allie Smith

Allie Smith

Education & Employment Support Program Coordinator