January 27, 2016
To Whom It May Concern,
As the Director of Montana GEAR UP, it is my distinct pleasure to recommend the MAPS Media Institute as a national top 10 after school program. Our program has worked with MAPS and Peter Rosten on a summer camp opportunity for the past 3 years and know the program be top notch. The effectiveness and impact of the MAPS summer program has been born out both in student survey data and the growth of the students in the films produced.
In 2015, Montana GEAR UP students who participated in MAPS and other summer camp opportunities received an average of 38.4 service hours per opportunity. Student survey data indicated that they rated the summer academic programs at a 2.91 on a scale of 0-4. Within the survey, students were asked questions about the impact of the camps on their motivation to attend college, awareness of college and career options, and their awareness of the academic and financial requirements related to college. Based upon these survey results and other data, Montana GEAR UP has identified summer camp opportunities as one of the strongest, most impactful services that we offer. We are grateful for the partnership of MAPS and Mr. Rosten in providing amazing summer camp opportunties that raise the college and career awareness and expectations of our students.
As our partnership with MAPS has evolved, we have enjoyed seeing the improvement in quality and depth of the films produced. The 2015 film addressed the topic of teen suicide through the portrayal of a struggling student whose friends and community rally around him, helping him overcome his mental and emotional challenges. The video addressed this important, yet sensitive topic in a way that was both humorous and poignant. The depth and thoughtfulness of the film was impressive and provided a great window the cognitive abilities and cinematic skills of the students. Without the partnership of MAPS, our students would not have the opportunity to expand their cognitive and artistic abilities in this way.
When I began working with MAPS in 2013, I was intrigued by the idea of providing a hands on summer camp opportunity for students through a one week film production project. I’ve since learned that MAPS is a model of excellence in academic and school enrichment as evidenced by their numerous awards and partnerships with state wide entities including the office of Governor Steve Bullock. Under the tireless leadership and passion of Peter Rosten, MAPS is constantly seeking to scale up their efforts in order to reach more students and provide these amazing opportunities to students who might not otherwise have them. I can think of no program more deserving of your prestigeous award than the MAPS Media Institute. Thanks for giving them due consideration!
Director, Montana GEAR UP
GAINING EARLY AWARENESS & READINESS FOR UNDERGRADUATE PROGRAMS OFFICE OF THE COMMISSIONER OF HIGHER EDUCATION 2500 BROADWAY ◊ PO BOX 203201 ◊ HELENA, MONTANA 59620-3201 PHONE 406.444.0056 ◊ FAX 406.444.0425 ◊ MUS.EDU/GEARUP/