SteegeThomson CASE Gold

In its first-ever institution-wide fundraising campaign, Montgomery County Community College managed not only to exceed its goal for student scholarships, but to win an international CASE Circle of Excellence Gold award for its campaign video “Futures Rising.” How did we create a video with emotional resonance that made one judge “want to take out his checkbook”?

Community colleges have not typically been a destination for major philanthropy, but modest investments have a tremendous impact on students, families, and their communities for years to come. “Futures Rising” shares the stories of six students whose lives have been transformed by scholarships. By casting inclusively, listening carefully, and investing time in getting to know each individual’s story, we were able to forge connections across academic disciplines, ages, and backgrounds to represent the common challenges — and achievements — of the College’s diverse, often first-generation college students. A lean approach to production freed the filmmakers to spend more time with each student and to let their stories unfurl in an organic, unscripted way. The result includes moments of unexpected human connection.