Staff Spotlight: Karen Garland

photo of Karen Garland

New Ventures Maine recently hired Karen Garland to provide career and money management classes and coaching to NVME participants. She is based at the University of Maine at Augusta (UMA) Saco Center.

Prior to joining NVME, Karen worked as an administrative specialist at UMA Saco Center. She also served as a tech hub navigator, helping students with technology issues.

Karen was introduced to NVME in 2014 by her academic advisor who recommended the Rainy Day Savings program. “I was working 60 to 70 hours a week at two jobs to make ends meet. She saw that I needed financial resources and suggested looking into matched savings and money management classes,” she said. “Taking the classes showed me I could save a little every month and it would add up! I used my savings when my computer died. With my two jobs, the only time I had to do my classes was at home. Without that computer I wouldn’t have been able to earn my degree.”

Karen is particularly interested in helping adult students change their lives for the better. “Working with adult students at UMA I realized that connecting people with resources and assisting them on their journey was what made me happy,” she said. “The NVME position allows me to follow my passion to help adult students achieve their career, financial and educational goals.”

Karen is a multilingual learner (MLL) advisor at RSU 23, advising New Mainers and other MLL students. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration Management from UMA.

“I see the entire NVME team working together to help Mainers be successful in whatever path they choose. I am very excited to be a part of the team!,” she said.