New Ventures Maine has hired Alicia LaFosse of Bath as a microenterprise specialist who will advise existing and new small business owners in planning, developing management tools, and practicing entrepreneurial skills. She will be based at the UMA Lewiston-Auburn Center.
Alicia has worked with learners of all ages—from elementary age to adult—in Maine and internationally for over 20 years. While pursuing her BA in Women’s Studies with a minor in African American Studies from Bates College, Alicia traveled to France and then Germany, where she eventually settled, worked and started a family between 1994 and 2006.
In Germany, Alicia worked with adult employees of two mid-sized businesses, as well as adults in government and community education centers, developing courses and teaching conversational, technical and business English. When she returned to Maine in 2006 to continue raising her family, she set her sights on a master’s degree. She earned her MS in Education from the University of Southern Maine in 2012 and began her public school teaching career working in the Lewiston Public Schools teaching English Language Learners (ELL) and becoming the RSU1 district-wide K-12 ELL program coordinator.
“I worked with students whose families were facing a lot of challenges—homelessness, addiction, financial difficulties—so I focused on creating a safe environment for kids to open up to learning,” said Alicia. “It’s so fulfilling to help people to realize what is inside of them to be able to succeed.”
Over the past several years, Alicia served as middle school interventionist for reading and math at Freeport Middle School, Explorer Camp director for Maine Maritime Museum, and grade 4 classroom teacher at Fisher Mitchell Elementary School, where she collaborated on science and social studies curriculum development and became a National Geographic Certified Teacher.
“When I saw the NVME ad, I came alive. I thought, this is where I want to be, working with people who are figuring out what is next to make their lives better,” she said. “I’m excited to use my skillset in making topics come alive for our participants, starting with understanding their needs and making the material accessible, especially as we transition to more in-person classes.”
Alicia grew up in Jay, Maine. She enjoys kayaking, hiking, traveling and gardening, and she learned to sail in 2022, allowing her to “see a whole new part of Maine…it’s such a special place.”