You’re born into poverty. You face temptations every hour of every day. You seek refuge, love and comfort from the wrong people. You are bullied because of who you are. You get into trouble with the law.
What do you do with your life? Do you surrender to all of it, or do you realize there’s a better way, a path toward a productive life and an escape from the misery?
Independent Lens explores the lives of six young people from across the country in a two-part special to air in late October and early November on PanhandlePBS.
“The Graduates” is sure to inspire those who watch it.
The six students are Hispanic. At least one of them is here illegally, as he was brought to the United States by his parents when he was just a youngster. The young man, though, has grown up as an American and has become politically active.
Another young man faced bullies who tormented him because he was a gay teenager, but he has found his calling in the arts.
There are other stories being told by the Independent Lens team that put this documentary together. They tell of unplanned pregnancy, of gang involvement, drug dealing, violence, hopelessness and, as one young woman tells her story, of being told she is unintelligent. That young woman dropped out of school for two years but has returned to finish her education — and she is loving her new life as a student.
Bernardo Ruiz, Pamela Aguilar and Katia Maguire produced the documentary, following the six teenagers on their journey from trouble to triumph. Their stories are heartwarming and send a message of hope to children everywhere — regardless of their background — that they can succeed.
The documentary airs over two nights, on Oct. 28 and Nov. 4.
I have this feeling those who watch will get a load of inspiration from it.