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Midvale Journal

RizePoint awards Canyons School District students STEM summer camp scholarships

Jun 25, 2018 12:09PM ● By Julie Slama

RizePoint presented Canyons School District students with scholarships to attend STEM summer camps. (Photo courtesy of Canyons Education Foundation)

By Julie Slama | [email protected]

Butler Middle seventh-grader Owen Ward really likes to play games — board games, card games, video games. So when he found a game design summer camp, he got excited.

“It sounds way cool,” he said. “I really like the idea how of learning how to design games and it can help me with future jobs.”

So when Owen learned about RizePoint’s scholarships for Canyons School Districts to attend STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) camps, he applied.

“I wasn’t sure what they were looking for, so I revised it a couple times. I had my math teacher and a friend write me a recommendation. It’s the first scholarship I’ve received. Now with the scholarship, I’ll be able to learn what methods they use,” he said, adding that he learned Scratch (a visual programming language) in elementary school.

In June, Owen will be attending the week-long game design camp, with the help of RizePoint.

“We invest in the future and the future is what makes us successful,” RizePoint CEO Frank Maylett said. “Our future are these students who are here wanting to learn at STEM camps.” 

About 21 scholarships were originally planned to be awarded in the third annual summer camp scholarship program; however, RizePoint Vice President of People Operations Peter Johnson said about four additional scholarships were funded by company individuals who were inspired by the quality of applicants.

“All the applicants were pretty great, so when we couldn’t fund some, there was a real draw to raise extra funds and employees partnered to award $1,400 in additional scholarships,” he said. 

The applications consisted of a short essay where fifth-grade through 10th-grade students wrote about their interests and experiences as they relate to STEM subjects, as well as included recommendations from a peer and a teacher. Johnson said a committee of RizePoint employees and Canyons Education Foundation members then scored the applications for their completeness, content, ambition and financial need. The camps range by students’ interests from a zookeeper camp to robotics and coding.

Awarding scholarships is only one way RizePoint has supported students. The company also has partnered with East Midvale Elementary, where they gave students backpacks in the fall filled with school supplies, and this past March, read books with students as part of the school’s Dr. Seuss Day. 

RizePoint’s reach to the community also includes giving employees a day each quarter to serve the community, such as helping with hurricane relief, building trellises and attending to the Wasatch Community Garden. 

“We’re excited to be able to help our community,” Maylett told the recipients and their families. “Through what we do — making software for companies and stores many of you use every day — we touch your lives quietly, but we’re making an impact, both through our work and our service."