Short Docs | Interview with Juliane Dressner and Enoch Jemmott


>>>I tend to make
character-based films that shed light on social issues. I
love making films about young people; oftentimes
they’re films about young people who are overcoming
challenging circumstances. ♪ [Theme Music] ♪ ♪ [Theme Music] ♪>>>It’s more complicated
to apply to college in this country than it ever
has been before. We’re now asking the students
who have the most to deal with, we’re asking them to understand
more than anybody else, and we’re asking them to
do it without enough counselors to guide them through it. ♪ [Piano Music] ♪
[Kids Conversing]>>>Well, I met one of
the co-founders, the co-directors of CARA,
College Access Research and Action, and when she
told me about the work that they were doing training
high school students to work in their high schools as
peer college counselors, I said well that would
be a really great subject for a documentary film. [Kids Conversing]>>>What’s your last name?>>>Abaio.>>>All right. And what’s
your last name? Christian?>>>Christian.>>>And what’s your last name? >>>Martinez.>>>What’s that for? >>>All right. Can you all
come to the S Area? The point of the
Student Success Center is to get help for college.
Whenever you all need help with the college process,
you all can come to me and I can help you. All of you
want to go to college, right?>>>They had been interested
in having a film made because they found that it’s only by
seeing the young people doing the work that you understand
how powerful they are, how effective they are. In
fact, some people hear young people are working
as Peer College Counselors. I don’t think they actually
imagine them to really truly be doing the work of
college counselors, which they do.>>>And I understand that
you guys completed; actually you guys started your
college essays already, right?>>>I wrote about moving to
America from my home country.>>>I wrote about how
every time I come home from school and middle school,
my mom wouldn’t be there. I would be mad at God, you
know, like why would God not have my mom
home and not take care of me? And as time went on, I
just realized like maybe, maybe I shouldn’t be
upset, you know, because it’s not changing. I should just
start thinking positive so I won’t have to put myself
through something so devastating, right?
That’s what I wrote about. I wrote about how I had to
change myself for the better.>>>The process of
applying to college for me, it had a bunch of
hills and barriers and hurdles and walls that were
tlike implemented in it and just slowly trying to
figure out how to approach those, that adversity
was I guess, my problem and was also my family’s problem, not
knowing how to deal with or not knowing where to find or
not knowing who to contact in regards of completing the
college process and receiving particular forms. So,
since my mother wasn’t around, and I needed to fill out
financial aid documents and things of such, to fill out
those documents I needed particular forms from my mother
and we’d have to travel to IRS buildings and then trying
to contact my mother would become very hard because she
wouldn’t have phones at the time and I couldn’t
get in contact with her shelter and things like
that would always pile up, and I would miss school
like going to IRS buildings and it just felt like the system was
pushed against me. I felt like I was trying to
get kept out of college.>>>In a year you guys
would be heading off to college soon and you’re
probably not thinking about it right now. Like
you’re thinking about it, but you’re not where we are at. Like, I’m scared, really scared
right now about college.>>>Over time we know, me
and my family we got over that little hill, and we
got past the adversity, and then I finally made
it. I’m proud I got through it, you know, and I guess
looking back at it I guess, it just really, it really
makes you a better person. It made me a man going through
those things and looking back at what I accomplished because
at the time it seemed like I dang sure wasn’t
going to get out of high school. I kind of was giving up in a
sense, and I didn’t even get there yet, you know?>>>Today we’re going to
focus on the counseling part of your role as a
youth leader. >>>Was my body language good? >>>Yes. >>>I just need to work on that.>>>I liked it. Woohoo!! >>>When we first began filming,
on the first day of training, we didn’t have in mind
that necessarily that we were making a feature-length
film. We thought okay, we’re making — maybe we’ll
make a short film about these young people doing
this extraordinary work. But what we realized soon
after meeting them is that we were going to want
to watch their entire story. We are going to want to follow
them and see where did they get into college? Where did
the peers that they were helping get into college? And how
did it go once they got there? And we realized that this —
it really couldn’t be a short film. It needed,
in this case, to be a feature-length film. ♪ [Music] ♪>>>We’re all thinking to
ourselves like, it’s too much; like every document
meant life or death.>>>It’s pretty hard to grow
up in a world where we never feel good enough.
You start to wonder, “Oh, what did I do
to deserve this?”>>>There should be more
guidance counselors. There shouldn’t be one guidance
counselor for each grade.>>>In some schools it’s
like 700 something students that have one
guidance counselor.>>>This is why we’re
here. I can help you. I can do everything I can to
help you.>>>I guess the one extra
thing I’ll add is that you know, our impact campaign is ongoing.
We’re trying really hard to get this film in front of every
student in the country who it could benefit and
inspire to persist to and through college.
We want to get it in front of decision-makers who it can
inspire to put resources where students need them. We really
need more college guidance support in public schools. We
need more school counselors. And so, we’re looking for
opportunities to partner with individuals, with
organizations, to organize screenings, and to get the
film in front of the folks where it can make a difference. ♪ [Upbeat Music] ♪>>>I’d just need to get myself
together. I don’t want to let them down. I don’t want to
let myself down.>>>Welcome. Coach McNeil.>>>They were making me feel
like I only have one chance, and I that chance was today.>>>It’s supposed to be an
enthusiastic process. What is your anger for?>>>Because you are
getting me upset. >>>You’re all leaders.
Leadership is about being committed to your communities,
to your peers, your friends, your families, and to justice. [Chanting] Back up! Back up!
We want freedom!>>>Students have leadership.
If you wanted something, why can’t we get together
and do it? [Chanting]
We have nothing — to lose!>>>I think you have to
click on this one.>>>I was accepted!>>>Yeah! [Clapping and Cheering]>>>Little hug. ♪ [Music] ♪

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