Collaboration between Northern Maine Community College and the University of Maine at Presque Isle brought an inspirational program to Administrative Days at NMCC.


Dr. Jacqui Lowman, who was born with spina bifida and utilizes a wheelchair, shared her experience of climbing Mt. Katahdin and her philosophy of how to accept life’s challenges.

Lowman teaches communication at the University, and last summer assembled a team of people to help her with the climb via Chimney Pond and Saddle Trail.  The trek took three days and 16 people who acted as cooks, porters, guides and Sherpas taking ten-minute turns carrying Lowman in a modified, customized “piggyback pack” all the way up Maine’s tallest peak.

“I wanted to show that anyone can overcome challenges of any kind,” explained Lowman.  “I’m blessed to have these obvious physical issues so that others can easily see that any challenge can be tackled with the right attitude, some creativity and yes, stubbornness.”

Lowman has established a nonprofit organization called BEYOND LIMITS: Awaken Your Potential founded to help people understand that challenge is really an opportunity to accomplish things that might seem impossible.  The organization has brought adaptive recreational opportunities to local residents with physical disabilities and for anyone who feels limited. Lowman says the Katahdin experience is serving as a great example of how everyone should concentrate on their abilities and the unlimited potential they were born with.

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