Bucksport High School graduates give $2 million to support Hancock County graduates

The Silvernail Scholars Program will help prepare students for post-secondary education
Published: Nov. 17, 2022 at 3:10 PM EST
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BUCKSPORT, Maine (WABI) - Bucksport High School graduates, Andy and Shelby Silvernail announced Thursday that they are committed to providing $2 million for the Silvernail Scholars Program. It will help foster leadership skills and prepare students for post-secondary education.

”This scholarship being awarded is truly such an amazing giveback to the community and helped and filled Andy’s potential for reaching for the stars,” said Rob Liebow, Interim Superintendent for Hancock Grammar and Lamoine Consolidated Schools. “I can’t think of a better individual to give back the same chance that he had to others that will follow him.”

Andy Silvernail was just seven years old when he moved to Bucksport. After his mom passed away, the townspeople, teachers, and coaches took Andy and his brothers under their wings.

They mentored him until he graduated from Bucksport High School in 1989.

He worked his way up the corporate ladder and is now the CEO of 5 Nails, LLC - a private investment and advisory firm.

Andy and his wife, Shelby now giving back the love and kindness they received with an initial investment of $2 million for the Silvernail Scholars Program.

“We want to open doors of opportunity for people to fulfill the dreams like we’ve been able to,” Silvernail said.

Open to Hancock County public high school students, it will help make available $15,000 scholarships annually to up to ten graduating seniors nominated by their schools.

The first round of scholarships will be announced in the spring.

“It’s a big deal and I feel like everyone is going to be excited and everyone is going to apply and it’s going to be great,” said Bucksport High School Senior, Kaylee Whalen.

“College and tech school, those things are all expensive these days and we want to help with that in any way we can and allow those dreams to happen,” said Silvernail. “If you want to be a teacher, or a CEO. If you want to be an electrician or a caregiver - we want this to be open to an incredible spectrum of people”

“This scholarship may open doors to them that may not have been open before so I think that’s what’s important to this and what I’m excited about. I think it’s going to be a different type of student that will be eligible for this opportunity,” said Bucksport High School principal, Josh Tripp.

“We have been this fortunate and now we want to do that and ask for nothing in return, except to bring your own skill and excitement and capabilities to your communities,” Silvernail added.