Drew Chambers, Program Manager
Engine is pleased to announce the addition of Drew Chambers as its Youth Program Mentor/Manager, for the Compass Project. Chambers is a woodworker, boat builder, artist, and educator with more than ten years of experience working in collaborative communities as a teacher and maker.
Chambers’ roots lie in outdoor education. During three years at Slide Ranch, a non-profit educational farm on the Marin coast of California specializing in field trips for K-12 students, Chambers worked first as a teacher, and then a teacher trainer. In his final position as the animal care manager, he managed budgeting, training, and day-to-day operations for the herds, flocks, and hives which involved developing and teaching a curriculum of animal care skills to a team of seven teaching interns during weekly afternoon workshops throughout the year. Chambers enjoyed coordinating with the development team as well, to win grants, put together an exit survey for program participants, and pull off numerous fundraisers and public events.
Chambers left Slide Ranch to engage his passion for woodworking. In the past five years, he has learned to build furniture, boats, and houses, and gained substantial experience in managing the day-to-day operations of an educational workshop. He has taught safety, use, and maintenance of hand and power tools to youth and adults in five different wood shops. Along the way, he has worked with a wide range of educators and designed and taught several of his own workshops as well, to youth and adults. During a brief stint in Washington D.C. in 2015, he volunteered with the Alexandria Seaport Foundation, working with at-risk youth in a program very similar to the Compass program. Recently, he has been working as a professional carpenter, with a worker-owned timber framing company in Montpelier, VT. I have gained valuable experience with modern building and design practices, including CAD (in the form of Google SketchUp).
As a student, a teacher, and a professional craftsman, Chambers’ drive has always been to understand the traditions of self-sufficiency which seeded our modern maker culture. For me, the journey towards understanding this world of craft origins has been mind-blowing and empowering, and the joys and rewards of the journey are magnified when the experience is shared.
“As we begin to understand the tools and techniques others have used to build our world, we gain a meaningful framework for our own creative endeavors. This engagement can ground us powerfully in our communities, and orient us in the present moment, which, in Maine’s vibrant craft and art world, is an expansive moment made up of many diverse voices.”–Drew Chambers.
Stephanie Edwards – Field Education Supervisor, Intern Mentor, and Grant Writer
Stephanie C. Edwards, MTS, MSW has volunteered at Engine since 2016. She works directly with Compass as the Field Education Supervisor for the social work internship program. She is inspired most by helping these young professionals hone their skills in a creative, inspiring environment where they are asked to find connections between theory and direct practice. On top of her work as a grant writer/social worker, Stephanie is finishing her PhD in Theological Ethics at Boston College. You can also find her behind the bar at Elements, on a variety of Biddeford city committees, or on an outdoor adventure with her husband and their rescue dog, EmmyLou!
Peter retired in Maine after living in Chicago and Minneapolis where he worked for large companies in the medical device industry. His previous experience in boat building includes a 13 foot rowing skiff based on a design from well known boat designer Phil Bolger. Recent wood working projects include 5 craftsman style rocking chairs built together with his brother and an adjustable Adirondack chair of his own design. He also volunteers at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore in Kennebunk and Laudholm Reserve in Wells. Compass project has quickly become one of his favorites.
Bill Coogan is a former professor and lawyer. Years ago he happened to look in a doorway and saw Compass Project in operation. He thought, “That’s what I’d like to do when I have the time.” In 2008, he began volunteering at Compass Project. Over the years he has been fortunate to work with a great crew of teachers and students at Compass. He has learned a good deal about boatbuilding and has forgotten most of it. When he is away from Compass during the summertime, he sails between Portland and New York City with a crew of pirates.