Public Relations Class Partners with City Youth Matrix

Aaron Vetter

The Public Relations Campaigns class is partnering with City Youth Matrix to create an awareness campaign.

Aaron Vetter, Executive Director of City Youth Matrix

The students in CMA 411 Public Relations Campaigns are partnering this semester with City Youth Matrix, a local nonprofit that provides children and families in Frederick easier access to extracurricular activities.

“City Youth Matrix has been kind enough to volunteer to be the class’ client for the spring 2020 semester,” said Brooke Witherow, assistant professor of communications, who is teaching the class. “Over the course of the semester, students will be creating a public relations campaign to pitch Aaron Vetter, City Youth Matrix’ executive director.”

Vetter has been a teacher at Lincoln Elementary School in Frederick for 18 years, and he has learned from students and their families about the barriers keeping them from extracurriculars. He wanted to help, so he started City Youth Matrix in 2018.

“(My students) are the heart of the vision that started City Youth Matrix,” he said. “Not all students are in extracurriculars. My childhood was full of them, and I want other children to have those opportunities.”

The organization removes barriers by providing registration help, scholarships, transportation and family engagement events for children and their families to be immersed in the wealth of enrichment opportunities that Frederick provides. They provide youth greater opportunities to enjoy activities, including sports, art, drama and music.

“We’re not creating the programs; we’re just breaking down those barriers,” said Vetter.

Witherow reached out to Vetter about this opportunity for her students because of the organization’s dedication to local education. The six students in her public relations class will help City Youth Matrix build an awareness campaign to get the message out and recruit volunteers. This partnership allows the students to gain practical experience with client relations, creating a public relations campaign and pitching. The semester-long project will culminate with the students pitching their campaigns to Vetter in May.