Press Release: Waynflete and MHPC Partner to Present Second Year of ‘Can We? Project’


Waynflete and The Maine Heritage Policy Center Partner to Present the Second Year of the Can We? Project

PORTLAND, Maine – The Maine Heritage Policy Center (MHPC) and Waynflete are co-sponsoring the Can We? Project for the second consecutive year. First launched by Waynflete in 2018, the Project aims to tackle the issue of civic dysfunction in American politics by engaging students and lawmakers in civil discourse, with the hope of bridging political divides that have brought policymaking to a standstill in recent years.

The Can We? Project brings together students with different backgrounds, experiences and political viewpoints from seven high schools in southern Maine, Washington D.C. and Chicago.

Students work with experienced facilitators during an intensive three-day retreat to develop a shared vision for the kind of state and nation in which they want to live. The culminating event of the student experience will take place Sunday, Nov. 17 at 35 Acadia Rd. in Casco, Maine from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. The event is not open to the public but is open to the press. 

On Sunday afternoon, student participants will be joined by legislators from both sides of the aisle, including Sen. Justin Chenette (D-Biddeford), Rep. Patrick Corey (R-Windham), House Minority Leader Rep. Kathleen Dillingham (R-Oxford), and Rep. Victoria Morales (D- South Portland). Students will present on their experiences and engage in meaningful dialogue with elected officials about some of the most pressing issues we face as Mainers and Americans.

The Maine Heritage Policy Center is proud to partner with Waynflete to present the second year of the Can We? Project,” MHPC CEO Matthew Gagnon said. “Our organization relishes the opportunity to engage with young people and introduce them to the ideas of freedom and liberty, which challenge political norms on all sides.” 

In the first year of the Can We? Project, students learned how to talk across deep political divides, develop a shared vision of a better Maine and design an interactive forum with gubernatorial candidates. Students were asked to question their own ideas, challenge each other and collaborate. In the process they developed basic skills seemingly lost in today’s politics: valuing dialogue, mediating differences, holding elected officials accountable and working collectively for a higher purpose.

A video highlighting the 2018 Can We? Project can be found here:

The "Can We?" Project from Waynflete on Vimeo.

For more information, please contact Jacob Posik of The Maine Heritage Policy Center or Jeannemarie Halleck, Can We? Project Director, at or 207.774.7863, ext. 1163.


The Maine Heritage Policy Center (MHPC) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan research and education organization dedicated to freeing people from dependency, creating prosperity, and redefining the role of government. MHPC formulates and promotes free-market public policies in the areas of health care, education, regulations, government transparency and tax and fiscal policy. To learn more about MHPC or review our policy work, visit: