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Helena College bridge program helps students focus on their future by looking at our past

Helena College bridge program helps students focus on their future by looking at the past
Posted at 6:00 AM, May 27, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-27 08:00:53-04

HELENA — Students with their sights set on the future and their professional or collegiate career have an opportunity to first get a leg up by taking a look back with the new program with Helena College.

Starting August 9th, high school juniors, seniors and first year college students will use film making to explore the history, arts and cultural impacts of the 1918 Spanish flu in Montana and how that relates to COVID-19.

“We’re interested in looking at how the humanities can have an import to topics such as pandemics," said Dr. Ari Laskin, National Endowment for the Humanities director with Helena College. "Something we normally think of as purely scientific or medical. I think this recent pandemic has shown us that science and medicine are important, but also looking at the social, cultural, political aspects of health and medicine is equally as important. And how really they are inseparable.”

Web Extra: Helena College bridge program

Made possible by the Humanities Initiatives Grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, this program is a partnership between Helena College, the Montana Historical Society and MAPS Media Institute. Together, the hope is to not only help shine a light on our history but give students an idea of what college life is like.

“Understanding the college-going culture, something that some folks take for granted, but really giving the high school students the opportunity to step into that gives them a leg up when they are ready to go to college," said Helena College Dean and CEO Dr. Sandy Bauman.

And if college is not in the cards, then this could be the perfect chance to build experience in a growing Montana industry.

“The government here really has incentivized bringing a lot of the studios from other states, most notably California," said Dr. Laskin. "And we already have many television and film productions taking place here and the industry really is in need, high need, for entry-level workers.”

The deadline for applications into the program is June 18th and there are only 15 spots available so don’t wait. And if you’re not already intrigued, each student will receive a $200 stipend for the work and lunch is provided.