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2010 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Irwin and Florence Rosten Foundation

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Arts & Culture, Media & Communications

Mission: The MAPS Media Institute is a nationally recognized, local education agency and after-school arts academy in western Montana. We provide a rigorous, hands-on media arts experience for rural students, inspiring a passion for learning and equipping them with educational tools that they might otherwise find unattainable. MAPS incorporates science, technology, engineering, the arts and math (STEAM) to help young people achieve tangible public success and impressive personal growth. MAPS students learn self-confidence, leadership and empathy for others, creating a strong foundation for the success of all their future endeavors.

Results: 1) MAPS student artists win two "Awards of Excellenceship (equivolent of EMMY awards) from NATAS, NW. (2015). 2) MAPS founder, Peter Rosten honored as "Bitterroot Business Person of the Year" by the Bitterroot Chamber of Commerce (2015). 3) Peter Rosten named a MONTANA AMBASSADOR by the Governor of Montana. (2015). 4)MAPS honored as one of the top 50 after-school programs in the country by the President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities. NAYHP (2014).

Target demographics: Underserved, economically disadvantaged and rural students grades 8 - 12. 50-50% Male and female.

Direct beneficiaries per year: 500

Geographic areas served: Ravalli County, MT

Programs: Film, Design, Technology, Music and Entrepreneur

Community Stories

44 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Client Served

Rating: 5

As the former principal of Corvallis High School, the original host of MAPS, I have witnessed the positive impact the MAPS program can have on students from every level of the educational spectrum. I can list numerous facts and figures in regards to the reduction in dropouts, increase in GPA, increase in credits attained, and the overall engagement of MAPS students, but in the end, one major impact of MAPS resonates the most - creativity. Educators can often times get wrapped up in levels of proficiency, standards, learning targets and demonstration of mastery. We hold up A-level products from students who graduated the year before and say, "This is an exemplar." Although sound practice, the beauty of MAPS is that the there really is no traditional A-level. Therefore, students are asked/challenged to be creative and imagine limitless possibilities while learning technical skills. A simple, but rare concept. I have followed the progress of MAPS since I left Corvallis High School and can think of only a few examples of such high-impact, high-skill, and high-creativity programs. Thank you to the Irwin and Florence Rosten Foundation for your incredible impact on the students of the Bitterroot Valley.

Darby M.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Although I have never had direct involvement with the MAPS Program, I have heard nothing but great things from students and adults alike. MAny of the projects that come out of this program are extremely high quality, and it is obvious that the students are receiving excellent education in their projects. Students make more than just projects though; they make friendships that last as they bond over the learning experience that MAPS provides them.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

As a Board member of another nonprofit organization in Ravalli County, I notice the high quality of products and outcomes of the MAPS program. The students are encouraged to be creative AND smart business people. My hat is off to the students and staff of MAPS, to Peter Rosten for his vision and leadership, and to the Irwin and Florence Rosten Foundation. This is a GOOD outfit!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I had the pleasure to see the MAPS project grow from its inception. Peter Roster started this idea at Corvallis High School where I had a front row seat to watch him develop it and guide it to where it is at today. The unique opportunity he provided to so many students filled a niche that was much needed in our community. The MAPS program gives countless high school students experience in the film industry in the remote mountains of Montana. Without MAPS, those students would never have had the opportunity to be exposed to a career that many have since pursued.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

It is a please seing kids come alive with creativity. The work these kids produce is amazing and the community and entire state has benefited from their work. If only there were more programs like MAPS.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I had the pleasure of observing MAPS in action when it was in its early days in 2004. It was apparent even then that MAPS engaged students, and empowered them with a sense of ownership over what they were producing. Since that time, I have watched as MAPS has grown its reach and impact. MAPS continues its important work of empowering students with the sense that they can make a difference in the world through a productive pursuit of their interests and passions. I hope MAPS continues to flourish for years to come.

Corinne K.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My son was in this program for 3 years. This was an amazing experience for him. I was the school nurse at a local high school and was amazed at the difference this program made in some of the students I knew. Some of the shyest students really excelled in this program. MAPS "Find Your Voice", is a very appropriate statement for this organization. It also served as a great after school activity for our county high school students who weren't athletes. This was great for a small community that doesn't have many programs for that age group.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I remember way back when Peter Rosten came to our school with this crazy idea. He proposed having a class during the school day where kids could learn about all aspects of making movies.
It turned out to be a great idea and allowed kids another outlet for their creativity. Many have gone on after high school and pursued careers in the movie industry.
The MAPS program has made several PSAs for different groups in Montana and beyond. These public service announcements and involved the students in the planning, implementation and editing portions as active participants in the entire process. MAPS gives students skills, experience, and contacts to continue in this field of study. What a great hands-on experience for young adults to be involved with!

Lisa223

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I was introduced to MAPs while attending a conference in Bozeman where I was speaking. The MAPs students participated in the conference, did filmed interviews of the participants and had a draft of their production ready for us to view in just four days. Their professionalism, skills and clear enthusiasm for the program was phenomenal. Peter and the rest of the MAPs staff have created an inclusive program that demands excellence from the students who are clearly thriving. I am happy to support MAPs and the Foundation -- there are so few programs that actually deliver a transformational experience for students as MAPs has done.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The Irwin and Florence Rosten Foundation, which funds MAPS, is the creation of Peter Rosten. I am one of the few people who knew Irwin and Florence because they were the parents of my best pal growing up, that being Peter. For all those who are considering to contribute money and/or time in MAPS, rest assured that the person at the helm of the organization is very special. In addition to MAPS being a great idea, the people supporting this idea are top notch. I know Peter. I know what he has done in his life, I know what he did for me, I know his capabilities, and I am learning more and more about how he is contributing to the advancement of youngsters throughout the Bitterroot Valley who want to pursue the film production industry. MAPS is a breeding ground for expanding creativity in our youth. It’s all good!

John Marino

Sarah114

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I became conscious of the MAPS program via teens my son was attending school with, so decided to look into it. I was amazed at the program, the quality, the experience they were giving to local teens in film - to develop and experience at such a high skill level within each of their technology programs. This is an awesome program that the Bitterroot is fortunate to have for our kids to express their passion in for the arts. The staff is over and above the mark without question! To produce the film, commercials and product that they do is quite amazing.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Helping children to get started in reaching their full potential and follow their dreams is such an important part of their lives. What the MAPS institute offers to these children that regular public schools are not able to is this. The program has very caring teachers and professionals in all aspects of the media arts. I only wish all children could benefit from such wonderful programs as MAPS!

Peter26

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My uncle started MAPS 10 years ago and I always look forward to hearing about what they have done. These kids do excellent work; I'm always impressed by the quality and professionalism of the videos they create! It's good to see them getting skills and experience in a creative field. I know if I were a Ravalli County high-school student, I would love to be in the program!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 4

My son has been in the design program for four years and has loved it from day one. It has enabled him to experiment with graphic design and is looking into business opportunities for himself in this area. He has gained great confidence in himself

Marie37

General Member of the Public

Rating: 4

My son has enjoyed being involved in MAPS program. He has been enrolled in the music class and has learned a great deal. The equipment they use is very up to date and they have more than enough time to learn how to use them. The staff has been awesome and they seem to enjoy the program and working with the kids. We home school and were excited that this resource was available to us.


Karla5

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

We love the MAPS program and feel fortunate that both our children were positively influenced there.  It was an enriching experience beyond the classroom, where real world skills are learned and creativity is nurtured.  How empowering for a teenager to find a place where their point of view is not just heard but valued.  Thanks to all the great staff that encourages kids to find their voice.  We wish you many more years of success!

Mike71

General Member of the Public

Rating: 4

My interaction with this nonprofit organization is largely from a bystander point of view. I have never volunteered for the organization. I have never been a student member of the organization. Rather, I bore witness to the positive effects the MAPS program can have amongst involved students by talking to friends (who were members) while in high school. Based on their experiences and communications I can say with confidence that the MAPS program made an impact on their understanding of the video technology field which no doubt spurred their interest after high school concluded and into a collegiate setting where they pursued a corresponding degree in a similar field. They were offered the opportunity to engage with fellow students of similar interest while participating in fun and creative projects which often incorporated the community in some way. The MAPS program is a truly indispensable community asset.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This is my sons first year attending the MAPS program. He has learned valuable professional skills and life skills. As a parent I am impressed with the quality the program provides for teenagers. Thank you to the staff at maps.

Wendy56

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have worked with teenagers the majority of my adult life; as a Teen Center Director through the Boys and Girls Clubs of America, we had after-school programs but NOTHING as educational and inspirational as MAPS....I wish we'd had the resources and knowledge then, that Peter Rosten has opened up for these students.

I retired from the Missoula County Juvenile Detention Facility; I know in my heart that if some of those troubled and at-risk youth had had the opportunity afforded them through the MAPS program, they would have been busy making documentaries and bonding with like-minded youth, instead of roaming the streets, getting into trouble and ending up in the Justice System.

For the good of our children, for the good of our future, I hope this program does nothing but EXPAND!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

MAPS gives young people a "voice". It provides a wonderful way for young people to channel their energy, talents and creativity. So many young people have so much to offer but nobody to direct them or to help them bring their ideas to fruition. MAPS also instills a sense of purpose and self confidence during these very important years. Hats off to MAPS!

Sue Levine

Dee_13

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

There is no doubt in my mind the Irwin and Florence Rosten Foundation, through MAPS, is doing great work preparing our children for the 21st century. The Foundation, MAPS and the people are inspiring and guiding our children through their imagination to reality with concrete results. I am ever so grateful these community minded folks have chosen our community to share their skills, talents and inspirational ways with our children and community. I thank them for their time and commitment.