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Lights, Camera, Education

MAPS Media Institiute shifts into high gear

MAPS student’s film nominated for regional Emmy award

by Lindsey Galipeau - Ravalli Republic

The MAPS Media Institute after-school program is all about guiding students. It leads teens through real experiences of creating media content for clients. The teachers’ and students’ hard work was recently rewarded with a nomination for an Emmy award from the Northwest chapter of the National Academy of the Television Arts and Sciences.

The nomination was for director Luke McLean’s short film, “No Excuses, No Limits.” The film was made for Vocational Rehabilitation, a job service in Missoula focused on helping disabled Montanans. It features several people who used the service and overcame their disabilities in a great way.

“It’s really inspiring,” said MAPS founder and president Peter Rosten. “Being disabled does not, certainly in their lives, present a stop sign. All they see is green lights and they go for it.”

McLean has a unique experience with MAPS. In 2005, he was a student in the progam. Now he’s returned to teach.

“[McLean’s] experience sort of synthesizes what MAPS is all about,” Rosten said. “Our mission is to educate, certainly inspire, and importantly train Ravalli County high school students in the communications field and, as a result, create quality jobs.”

McLean emphasizes how great an opportunity the program is. He said it offers an experience that few can even find in college. The professionals in charge are a big part of that experience. Rosten worked in Hollywood for 30 years as a writer and producer. Jeremy Sauter, who leads MAPS marketing and advertising, is currently an executive at Paramount Pictures.

“Every Paramount picture has his thumbprint on it,” Rosten said.

McLean said the class was a bright spot in the dim days of high school.

“I’m so impressed with how motivated we became in the program,” McLean said. “To me, that was why I stuck with the program, because it gave us a dream to follow.”

Though the nomination was under his name, McLean said it’s really not his. He said it belongs to the whole MAPS program — students and teachers alike.

“I’m only a member of a wonderful team. It’s a very great honor to be nominated. At the same time, it’s something that the entire program deserves,” McLean said.

The MAPS program grows every year. When it started in 2004, it was only at Corvallis High School. Rosten put the program on hiatus in 2008 while he ran for public office.

“I ran for the Montana Legistature and thankfully did not win, but that year renewed me and then in 2009 we opened as an after-school program,” Rosten said.

He noted the great reaction from students and parents all over the Bitterroot Valley, hoping the class would open up for everyone. That enthusiasm hasn’t slowed and the program continues to grow and add more classes. Being nominated for the Emmy was the cherry on top.

“We’ve always got a lot of public kudos, you know, but whenever a third party says MAPS kids are doing terrific work, it just validates again the talent that we have here,” Rosten said.

For more information on MAPS or to view McLean’s short film, visit

Reporter Lindsey Galipeau can be reached at 363-3300.