Alexis' Story

 Alexis Wardwell is a 2018 graduate of our Passages Program. Since the age of fourteen, Alexis has dreamed of opening her own restaurant. She is now enrolled at Central Maine Community College, working toward a dual degree in Culinary Arts and Restaurant Management. She also holds an internship at Sunday River, all while raising her young son.

Alexis Wardwell is a 2018 graduate of our Passages Program. Since the age of fourteen, Alexis has dreamed of opening her own restaurant. She is now enrolled at Central Maine Community College, working toward a dual degree in Culinary Arts and Restaurant Management. She also holds an internship at Sunday River, all while raising her young son.

In Her Own Words:

Ever since I was a little kid I’ve always dreamed big. Some parents tell their children, “Shoot for the stars,” and that is exactly what I’m doing.

Some people have their parents behind them 100% which makes it easier for them to reach for the stars, but I didn’t have much support behind me. I was fifteen when I got dropped off at the homeless shelter. I would think to myself, “Why me? What did I do so wrong to deserve this? I don’t smoke, drink, talk back. Am I even loved?”” All these thoughts took over my body. I wanted out but kept pushing forward.

When I turned sixteen I was still in the homeless shelter. I had no choice but to emancipate myself. At sixteen years old I was responsible for all my needs, and let me tell you it wasn’t the easiest: working forty hours a week, still going to school and taking cooking classes... all while fighting the thoughts in my head. It got very stressful.

At seventeen I dropped out and continued working while having my own apartment. I
had a job... why would I need to graduate? Once I got pregnant my whole view changed. I wanted to graduate more than anything. That is when I applied at Wayfinder Schools. I was ready to take those steps I needed to make my dream come true.

I am so grateful for this program. Being a mom is hard enough as is, let alone trying to graduate. Passages made it possible for me. I graduated from Wayfinder Schools in June 2018. It was one of the best days I've ever had. Because of this amazing program I was able to do something I always dreamed of but never thought was possible. I am now a full-time college student. I have A's in all my classes while also working full-time at Sunday River as an intern, and of course my biggest job of all--raising my smart little boy.


Lexi's graduation project was to prepare a four-course meal for staff, students and community members. Her menu included corn chowder, pasta alfredo, chicken cordon bleu, mashed potatoes and asparagus. For dessert, Lexi served chocolate mousse. What a treat!