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A unique collaboration is taking place in the bustling Nu Skin workspace, bridging the gap between high school education and real-world professional experiences. Provo’s Center for Advanced Professional Studies (CAPS) program and BYU’s Mentorship for Advanced Professional Studies (MAPS) are at the heart of this partnership.

Provo CAPS students collaborate with local businesses to deliver tangible business solutions across various sectors, including digital design, software development, marketing, entrepreneurship, engineering, and health sciences, culminating in a series of milestone events leading up to the completion of their projects. MAPS, on the other hand, consists of collegiate mentors enrolled in various fields of study at BYU, who lend their expertise to assist high school students in accomplishing projects assigned by local businesses.

“The MAPS program was started a couple of years ago as a sub-program of BYU’s Y-Serve organization,” explains Chase Merrill, the Executive Director of MAPS. “We pair high school students with university mentors a few years ahead of them in a similar field of study. The goal is to provide guidance and assistance while allowing students to take charge of their projects.”

The collaborative spirit of MAPS is evident in the weekly interactions between mentors and students. McKay Lush, a BYU junior studying Information Systems, elaborates, “We usually come together every Friday to work on group projects. High school students lead the exercise, and mentors offer guidance as needed. It’s all about empowering students to drive the projects forward.”

Mentors refrain from taking over the projects; they catalyze the students’ creativity and problem-solving skills. “The mentor doesn’t take over the project from the students; it’s the students’ project,” said Chase. “We guide them by helping them know what questions to ask and where to find answers.”

The impact of this mentorship extends beyond the confines of the classroom. Kate Munger, another BYU junior involved in the program, highlights the tangible outcomes of their collaboration. “I’m helping a group make a marketing project to promote a new book. We’ve been working on TikToks and flyers, and I’ve been giving them advice on the best way to market the book,” she shares. 

Reflecting on the program, Chase underscored the importance of delivering quality projects that students can proudly showcase in job interviews and resumes: “I hope they walk away from their experience with the BYU mentors having delivered quality projects to their client. More importantly, I hope they have the experience they can bring to whatever professional setting they’re in in the future.”

Programs like MAPS empower the next generation of professionals to realize their full potential– and no place is better suited for their mentorship like CAPS. We’re grateful for the MAPS partnership and are excited to see what lies ahead for Provo and our students—both at Provo City School District and our colleges at large.

Spencer Tuinei
  • Communication Specialist
  • Spencer Tuinei