BANGOR, ME – Heart of Maine United Way is honored to host Dr. Donna Beegle, the renowned expert in poverty and communication, on September 12 in Bangor. Dr. Beegle’s insights have made her a sought-after speaker and advocate for change. 

This event is made possible by sponsorships from Haley Ward, Inc., Means Wealth Management, and Northern Light Health. 

Born into generational, migrant labor poverty, Dr. Beegle now has over two decades of experience in poverty studies, offering a unique blend of personal experience and research-based insights that will empower you to make a real difference in the lives of those affected by poverty in our community. 

Dr. Donna M. Beegle inspires and educates individuals, organizations, business leaders and entire communities with proven models to better outcomes for people in poverty. “We are honored to host Dr. Donna Beegle in Bangor,” said Shirar Patterson, President & CEO of Heart of Maine United Way. “Her expertise aligns closely with our mission to improve lives by mobilizing the caring power of people and communities. Dr. Beegle’s training will help us all to develop a shared understanding of poverty in our community that can result in lasting change and better support those in need. ” 

Married at 15, Dr. Beegle is the only member of her family who has not been incarcerated. By age 24, she earned her GED and then, within 10 years, received her doctorate in Educational Leadership. She is an authentic voice from poverty, who speaks, writes and trains across the nation to break the iron cage of poverty for others through services provided by her company, Communications Across Barriers (CAB). For more than 23 years, she has traveled throughout hundreds of cities in 47 states and four countries to assist professionals with proven strategies for breaking poverty barriers. State agencies, politicians and other organizations have partnered with her to implement community-wide approaches to improving outcomes for citizens in poverty. 

Dr. Beegle’s inspiring story of moving from 28 years of homelessness to achieving a doctorate and her groundbreaking work assisting people to move out of poverty have been featured in newspapers and television around the nation, including CNN and PBS. Dr. Beegle has received numerous awards (i.e. the National Speaker of the Year for the New Mexico Bar Foundation and the Oregon Ethics in Business award), and recently Portland State University’s School of Social Work Building was named in her honor. 

This ticketed event is open to the public, and all community members, organizations, and businesses are encouraged to attend. Tickets are available at