5Point helps make dreams come true | AspenTimes.com

5Point helps make dreams come true

Jill Beathard
The Aspen Times

5Point Film is not just making dreams reality for filmmakers across the country but also for five high-school kids right here in the valley.

The organization, which has its flagship film festival in Carbondale this weekend, also annually sponsors the 5Point Dream Project, providing scholarships to local high-school students seeking help with projects that will benefit either their own community or one they want to visit.

While the projects can relate to the outdoors or something enjoyable, like the films chosen for the 5Point festival, the most important aspect is that they serve a higher cause. This year's recipients, four students from Basalt High School and one from Colorado Rocky Mountain School, made that known in their applications, said Tracy Wilson, the Dream Project coordinator.

"The students that were selected, you could 100 percent tell that they put a lot of care and effort into their applications," Wilson said.

Jacques Cote submitted this video application for the Dream project:

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Another theme to the projects was inclusivity, Wilson noted. Basalt sophomore Morelia Bautista wants to create a safe environment in the valley for gay students. Her classmate Karyme Lara wants to help undocumented teens learn about paths to citizenship.

That has particular significance to some of the scholarship recipients. Three of them — Bautista, Lara and freshman Mauricio Sosa — participate in a mentorship program for students in the Roaring Fork School District who have the potential to be the first in their families to go to college.

"We're pretty proud of our students," said mentor Adrian Sirkus after learning that they won Dream Project scholarships.

Mentors start with a group of kids in seventh grade and stay with them through high school. They are anything but tutors, helping the students navigate issues like bullying, problems with teachers and making good choices and eventually helping them with college and scholarship applications. To date, 97 percent of the students who have participated in the Pre-Collegiate Program have gone to college, and all of them have graduated high school, said Executive Director Leslie Emerson.

"They're terrific kids," Sirkus said. "They're constantly surprising us."

Wilson also praised the efforts of Basalt High School counselor Bo Takarabe for helping the four students on their applications. The students received their $1,500 scholarships from 5Point on Thursday night.

Here's a look at the projects the students will develop with that money, according to 5Point Film:

Morelia Bautista

Sophomore, Basalt High School

A participant in the Gay Straight Alliance since her freshman year, Bautista wants to organize a valleywide high-school dance promoting a safe environment for gay and straight teens.

Jacques Cote

Sophomore, Basalt High School

An aspiring filmmaker, Cote will shoot a movie in the valley that educates viewers on what it means to be part of a community.

Karyme Lara

Sophomore, Basalt High School

Lara wants to develop and manage a website that will be an educational resource for undocumented students in the valley who want to take advantage of education and citizenship opportunities.

Mauricio Sosa

Freshman, Basalt High School

Sosa wants to build a peace garden at his school where students can relax and recharge during the day.

Zoey Steel

Junior, CRMS

Steel plans to teach English to elementary students in Nepal. While there, she also hopes to incorporate her passions for backpacking and photography by visiting the Everest Base Camp.

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