Two Maine Students Awarded MEMIC Harvey Picker Horizon Scholarship



Portland, ME ( - At its Annual Meeting last Monday, MEMIC awarded $10,000 in scholarships to two Maine students. Austin Bickford of South Thomaston, Maine, and Courtney Castonguay of Brewer, Maine, each received $5,000 for college. 

The MEMIC Harvey Picker Horizon Scholarship is awarded annually to the spouse or child of a worker who has suffered a serious injury or death at work. The winners are selected from dozens of applicants each year.

Applicants must show potential for academic success and demonstrate financial need. 

"This scholarship is our way of acknowledging the difficulty that a workplace injury can place upon the hopes and dreams of the family of an injured worker," said MEMIC Senior Vice President of External Affairs Michael Bourque. "We hope to help these two families who were confronted with tragedy see a brighter future. We're proud to support Austin's and Courtney's education." 

Austin's mother seriously injured her shoulder at work in 2005 and continues to suffer from pain related to the injury. 

Austin is a recent graduate of Oceanside High School in Rockland and plans to attend Washington County Community College to study Mechanical Technology. An honor roll student in the past two years, Austin also works at his local Hannaford Supermarket and dedicates his time to volunteer efforts in the community. Teachers describe Austin as possessing "not only the skill to do the job, but honesty and integrity as well." 

Courtney's mother ruptured two discs in her neck due to a 2007 workplace injury, resulting in surgery requiring significant time in the hospital. 

Inspired by her mother's team of nurses, Courtney is pursuing a degree in nursing. This fall, she will enter her second year in Husson University's Health Care Studies program, where she recently made the Dean's List.  In addition to her studies, Courtney works nearly full time between two healthcare facilities as a Certified Nursing Assistant. Her supervisors praise her "kindness, dependability, and initiative." 

The MEMIC Harvey Picker Horizon Scholarship has been presented annually since 2001. With the 2013 award, MEMIC has granted scholarships totaling $100,000. 

MEMIC's scholarship program is named after Harvey Picker, who died in March of 2008. Picker was a renowned physicist, educator and philanthropist who valued education. In 1992, Picker was appointed by then Gov. John R.

McKernan as a member of the Blue Ribbon Commission on Workers' Compensation which led to the formation of MEMIC. Picker later served as a member of the Board of Directors of MEMIC.


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