Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB)

Into the Fold: Upcycled Trailmap Origami for Good

Lily Winch ’23  has always loved origami. For Lily, the Japanese practice of folding paper into tiny pristine sculptures is soothing and a perfect stress reliever. She likes that at the end of the process, you have also produced something beautiful. Her parents recognized her talent and encouraged her to sell her sculptures in the past, but she was reluctant. When it came time to choose a Senior Four Point Project, it only made sense that she would pick something she loved. The project, after all, would require a significant commitment.
Senior Four Point is the culmination of all of the learnings from the Four Point program, a signature piece of the Gould experience. The theme of Senior Four Point is independence, with a focus on service. Students pick an independent project that they are passionate about and find a way to make an impact on their community.

Past projects have included initiating a plastic bag ban in Bethel and creating Braille children’s books for the Bethel Library. Lily just needed to connect her love of creating origami sculptures with something she cared about. Her initial thought was The River Fund.

Founded in 2018, The River Fund was created with the goal of creating educational and recreational experiences for those in the community who might otherwise not have access. Through Maine West Project Play and the Sunday River Community Access Pass programs, The River Fund is creating access to the outdoors for local children.

The money raised by Lily for this particular project went towards the River Fund Maine Scholarship which, given out annually, provides up to $20,000 each year to cover the cost of college tuition and fees, room and board, books and educational supplies for students pursuing a four-year degree, and assists them as they prepare for careers in entrepreneurial and leadership roles in Western Maine. The 2021 scholarship was awarded to Dylan Greenberg ’21 from Bethel, Maine, who is now studying engineering at the Rochester Institute of Technology.

It was a perfect match for Lily’s project.

“Lily fused her artistic talent and affinity for the mountain beautifully to create upcycled trail map origami,” says Executive Director of The River Fund Maine Noah Tanguay-Collins. “We’re so grateful for her contributions and her thoughtful and creative project.”

Traditionally in origami, paper is folded into the shape of a crane. Lily hand-folded intricate evergreen trees and elaborate woodland creatures like bears and deer, creating uniquely Maine art. She used Sunday River trail maps as the base for her designs, making them even more distinct. That resonated with Lily who has been an alpine ski racer at Sunday River since long before she came to Gould, and appealed to her customers who live and vacation in the Bethel area.

With the help of her mentor, Kimmie Johnston P’23, she set up shop at The Blue Mountain Arts & Crafts Fair at Sunday River during Fall Fest Weekend. She also sold to her classmates and her teachers throughout the school year. They all gladly handed over eight to twelve dollars to support the cause, a small price to pay for a one-of-a-kind piece of handmade art. All totaled, Lily helped to raise over $850 for the River Fund Scholarship.

She’s quick to admit that the project was about more than just folding paper. She learned a great deal in the process.

“It wasn’t just folding. I had to reserve a space, talk to a lot of adults…be an adult. Figuring out pricing and how to market to people was really tough,” Lily said. “The project was really good for a lot of other things other than just folding. It was a great way to take something that I did as a hobby and then turn it into something that can help people in the community.”

Feeling the FOMO?

It’s not too late. You can be the proud owner of one of Lily’s unique sculptures and support The River Fund Maine at the same time. Email Lily for details.
Private High School for Boys and Girls | Grades 9-12, Postgraduate and Winter Term for Grades 7-8 | Boarding School in the Mountains of Maine

Gould Academy guides students to be creative, courageous and resilient and to lead lives of fulfillment and purpose.