Maine Coast College Essay: Meet Master Instructor, Jaed Coffin

Ah, yes – it is officially spring time (or so we’re told up here in Maine where there is still a good foot of snow in the backyard…). For many of us, spring means warmer weather, spring-break trips and blooming flora. While the season inspires many of us to get outside and into our flip flops, for many high school Juniors this time is overshadowed by SATs, college visits, and the initial steps of college applications. Well, rising Seniors, have no fear – Apogee is here with a solution for some of those initial college application anxieties! Our Maine Coast College Essay (MCCE) program is an eight-day program that allows twelve students to enjoy beautiful coastal Maine, work with informed and fun instructors, hone interviewing skills at Bowdoin College, and leave the program with two polished college essays. And MCCE is still 100% an Apogee program – so we will have plenty of time to get to know one another and enjoy Maine’s natural playground. We’ll spend afternoons hiking, swimming, sea-kayaking, performing community service, and walking the cobblestoned streets of charming Portland, Maine.

Jaed Coffin

Last summer, Apogee successfully piloted the MCCE program with the help of two terrific Apogee leaders; Bowdoin’s Director of Admissions, Whitney Soule; and our master instructor, Jaed Coffin. This year, we are thrilled to have Jaed onboard to guide our MCCE students over their eight days in Maine. Jaed, a Maine resident and father of two, has a passion for working with youth and has years of experience instructing at the high school and college levels. A graduate of Middlebury College with an MFA in Creative Writing, Jaed is a professor of English at the University of New Hamphsire. Jaed has a resume made for MCCE – he is the author of two personal memoirs about his experiences as a monk in Thailand and a boxer in Alaska (not a lot of folks have both of those activities in their background….), he has taught at Bowdoin and the Stonecoast MFA programs, spoken at over 20 colleges around the country, and run writing seminars at over 30 high schools. Jaed also uses his gift as a teacher and writer to give back; he is heavily involved in the Telling Room, a literary program for international multilingual high school students in Portland, Maine. He is also the author of numerous published articles and essays (check out this one about his crazy night with Justin Timberlake). In short, Jaed is the perfect instructor for Apogee’s MCCE program.

Jaed Coffin
Jaed working with a 2014 MCCE student.

Our MCCE program is fun, it’s intense, and it bears fruit. Participants of last year’s MCCE program have received offers of admissions from some of the best universities and colleges in the US – including Georgetown, the U.S. Naval Academy, Harvard, Bates, Vanderbilt, Northwestern, and the University of North Carolina (and, not to excessively toot horns, but we should mention that UNC offered our MCCE alumnus the prestigious Morehead-Cain Scholarship – a merit-based, four-year scholarship). We are very excited for another successful summer, and know that, with Jaed’s terrific help, this year’s MCCE students are bound to have an experience they will never forget.

*Scholarship opportunities may be available – please inquire with Apogee at 207.725.7025 or