The M.A.P.S. Program is a nonprofit organization developed to provide salient mentoring relationships with local high school students, while offering scholarship opportunities for students who intend to further their education by attending college. Carla Jackson's students are exposed to job-shadowing opportunities, cultural activities, and educational enlightening activities. Carla strategically plans the mentoring sessions and she involves community leaders and stakeholders to make certain the sessions are meaningful and effective. Her program also includes multiple sessions with information on colleges, scholarship research/preparation, careers, resume building, professional speaking, essay writing, interviewing skills, job search preparation, financial planning and time management. In June 2005, over $30,000 in scholarships were awarded to students. Carla believes all students can excel, regardless of race, creed, or color.
Carla often utilizes her own financial resources to make the program run efficiently. Additionally, she has been known to provide the students transportation needs, as well as food, clothes, and shelters. The role of Founder for the M.A.P.S. Program involves all elements of collaboration, time management, leadership development, and organizational skills. Not only does Carla create the annual mentoring agenda, but she also attends every session. She works collaboratively and cordially with carious organizations throughout the community.
The Bloomington/Normal community has a minority population of only seven percent. Carla creates relationships with everyone she meets. She has managed to positively transform the Bloomington/Normal community by implementing this mentoring program, as well as other community outreach efforts. Several other people from various cities are interested in the design of the program.
In addition to being the Founder of the M.A.P.S. Program, Carla is also involved in many community outreach efforts including Motivational Speaker at the Lincoln, Illinois and Dwight, Illinois Correctional Centers; Board of Directors the YWCA for Central Illinois; Board of Directors for the Girl Scouts for Centralia, Illinois; Vice-President of the local NAACP; Vice-President of the local chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority; Deaconess at local church; and Volunteer at the local Heritage Nursing Home.