Piscataqua Savings Bank is the proud supporter of over 130 Seacoast area nonprofits. We’re highlighting a few of the nonprofits doing incredible, critical work in our Seacoast community with our Seacoast Spotlight Series. Next up in our spotlight is The Mayhew Program, a residential summer program coupled with year-round mentoring to empower at-risk New Hampshire boys embrace their strengths, take ownership of their actions, and contribute positively to their communities.

In the heart of New Hampshire lies a transformative initiative that has been shaping the lives of at-risk boys for over a century. The Mayhew Program offers guidance, support, and opportunities for young men to believe in themselves, collaborate effectively with others, and unearth their true potential. As a longstanding supporter of community development and empowerment, Piscataqua Savings Bank is proud to shed light on the impactful work of The Mayhew Program.

History of The Mayhew Program

The roots of The Mayhew Program trace back to 1893 when Groton School, a prestigious boarding school in Massachusetts, initiated a summer camp for underprivileged boys on Groton Island in Squam Lake. This camp, originally known as the Groton School Camp (GSC), aimed to provide a nurturing environment for boys from urban areas, offering them respite from the challenges of their daily lives.

In 1920, with the assistance of the Webster family, the camp transitioned to Mayhew Island on Newfound Lake, where it continued its mission of serving at-risk boys until 1966. Amidst declining facilities and changing priorities, former GSC counselors and Camp Pasquaney staff joined forces in 1969 to establish the Mayhew Island Program, focusing on boys from Manchester’s inner-city neighborhoods.

Despite initial challenges, dedicated individuals like Jonathan Choate and Owen Lindsay, Jr. spearheaded the effort, laying the foundation for what would become the Mayhew Program. Over the years, passionate leaders like Tony Governanti and Al Cantor expanded the program’s reach and impact, shaping it into the comprehensive initiative it is today.

The Mayhew Program: Empowering Boys, Transforming Lives

At its core, The Mayhew Program is committed to empowering at-risk New Hampshire boys through a unique combination of year-round mentoring and a residential summer program. Unlike any other program in the state, Mayhew offers tuition-free support through high school graduation, ensuring that financial barriers do not hinder a child’s potential.

The program’s holistic approach revolves around instilling core values of respect, responsibility, community, and challenge in its participants. Through regular mentoring sessions and summer camp experiences, boys are encouraged to embrace their strengths, take ownership of their actions, and contribute positively to their communities.

During their 25-day summer camp on Mayhew Island, boys immerse themselves in challenging activities, receive recognition for their efforts, and establish a new reputation in a supportive environment. Through structured cabin groups and constructive group interactions, they develop essential social skills and build lasting friendships.

As participants progress through the program, they are invited to join Links, a continuation of their Mayhew journey that offers outdoor developmental expeditions in the White Mountains. These expeditions, led by experienced leaders, encourage teens to push their limits physically and socially, fostering confidence, collaboration, and leadership skills.

The Links program serves as a platform for older participants to mentor younger peers, embodying the program’s ethos of empowerment and community. By challenging themselves and supporting one another, Links become role models for future generations.

How To Support The Mayhew Program

As a community-focused institution, Piscataqua Savings Bank recognizes the importance of investing in initiatives like The Mayhew Program. By supporting programs that prioritize mentorship, empowerment, and inclusivity, we contribute to building a brighter and more equitable future for all members of our community.

The success of The Mayhew Program hinges on the generous support of donors and community partners. Whether through financial support, volunteerism, or advocacy, individuals and organizations can play a vital role in empowering the next generation of leaders. Visit The Mayhew Program online to learn more about how you can support their mission.

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