"MELMAC's investments will continue to move the needle to ensure all Maine students have equal opportunity and support in their pursuit of post-secondary credentials."
Craig Larrabee, President and CEO, Jobs for Maine’s Graduates
After almost two decades, the MELMAC Education Foundation remains committed to supporting high quality initiatives that serve the purpose of increasing educational opportunities for Maine people. Put simply, MELMAC’s vision is to prepare Maine’s youth to be ready for and successful in career and college.
In 2002, the MELMAC Education Foundation partnered with the Foundation Strategy Group (FSG). Together they initiated a comprehensive statewide Education Needs Assessment and Strategy with two phases. The objective was to identify a strategic focus that would create a lasting impact on the education of the people of Maine, affirmed by statewide data about educational needs and priorities.
Phase I examined the entire Maine educational landscape, considering a broad range of issues. FSG compiled a Study of Studies, reviewing and synthesizing data from over 25 studies on topics critical to Maine's educational performance, including independent research, legislative recommendations, and conference presentations.
Phase II research was designed to gain an understanding about key Gap to College needs and identify points of leverage critical to closing the Gap to College for students in Maine. Two core strategies were selected covering specific needs affecting student aspirations for college, enrollment in college, and graduation from college.
In 2016, MELMAC engaged over 100 education stakeholders across the state to learn how it could develop new initiatives to better support the success of Maine youth through education. During this process, the Foundation clarified its vision and made important changes to its funding strategy, changes that it believes will elevate its collective impact for many years to come.
A former reproductive health teacher and Assistant Director of Admissions at Westbrook College (now the University of New England) in Portland, Maine, Ault served as the Associate Director of Admissions at the University of Maine at Farmington for seventeen years.
During her tenure at UMF, she was elected to four terms in the Maine House of Representatives representing part of Kennebec County from 1988 through 1996. She served all eight years as a member of the Joint Standing Committee on Education and Cultural Affairs, serving as its House Chair during her final term.
In September 1999, Ault became President of the non-profit Maine Educational Loan Marketing Corporation (MELMAC). In December 2000, MELMAC was converted from a non-profit student loan agency to a for-profit company and was subsequently acquired by National Education Loan Network (NELNET). The proceeds from the sale were, as directed by IRS law, used to form the non-profit MELMAC Education Foundation and Ault has served as Executive Director since its creation.
Board of Directors