For MaineInvolved CitizensEncore Leadership Corps (ENCorps)

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Encore Leadership Corps

Participants in the 2012 ENCorps Leadership Summit at Point Lookout.
Participants in the 2012 Encore Leadership Corps gather at Point Lookout in Northport in April. Photo by Jo Chaney, courtesy of University of Maine Center on Aging


The Encore Leadership Corps (ENCorps) is a free training program for Mainers aged 50 and older. It teaches participants about how to get involved in the community, promote change, and resolve conflicts.

The program focuses on environmental stewardship, grassroots leadership, and community development, with a goal of giving participants the skills, knowledge and guidance they needed to make positive changes in their communities. It also teaches about smart growth, an approach that emphasizes making decisions that protect and improve the quality of life for all community residents.

More than 95 ENCorps volunteers gathered at the 2012 annual summit, held at Point Lookout Resort in Northport, where they heard presentations by Dan Burden, executive director of Walkable and Liveable Communities; Linda Silka, director of the Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center; and Nancy Smith, director of GrowSmart Maine. The presentations and subsequent skill-building workshops offered the participants an opportunity to learn about building a sense of community, health and wellness, environmental issues, and economic development, and discuss the subjects with their peers.

ENCorps is a program of the University of Maine Center on Aging in partnership with the Maine Community Foundation and with the cooperation of local, state, and national organizations. Initial project funding is provided by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Aging Initiative and the Atlantic Philanthropies.

ENCorps grew out of MaineCF's participation in the Atlantic Philanthropies' Community Experience Partnership program, which is designed to engage baby boomers in local community-building work.

For an ENCorps application, visit the Encore Leadership Corps website. To learn more about MaineCF's role in ENCorps, contact Lelia De Andrade, director of grantmaking services, by e-mail or by phone at (877) 700-6800.

  ENCorps Quick Facts

As of June 2012, the Encore Leadership Corps had 210 participants from 106 towns, volunteering at 337 organizations. They had logged 22,258 volunteer hours worth an estimated $374,000.

When asked about how ENCorps has affected them, 83% of participants said the program makes them feel like their experience is valued and 82% said they had improved their skills. Fifty-six percent of the volunteers said they feel better physically since starting the program, and 60% say they feel better emotionally.

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