This collection highlights videos produced by Producers Workshop filmmakers for CPB's American Graduate initiative. These close-up stories focus on the challenges facing high school students across America - Native American, Latino, Asian American, more. How can they and their communities break through the obstacles so the students can succeed and graduate?


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Ryan was flunking out of school and facing time in detention. Instead, he came to a wilderness program in the harsh mountains of Utah, where he learned to respect his horse, his schooling and himself.

Produced by Erika Cohn, Idle Wild Films



Rancho Cielo

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Jorge dropped out of school to help his family, picking lettuce in the fields of Salinas, California, for five years. Rancho Cielo brought him back to school and a pathway to better job opportunities.

Produced by Monika Navarro



Between Worlds

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How can this student fulfill her responsibilities in two "worlds" -- the city school she attends and the Navajo reservation where she was born?

Brittany is torn between the Navajo reservation she grew up on and loved, and the school in Albuquerque, where she now lives. She ran away, then realized that "dropping out wasn’t as simple as it seemed.”

Produced by Ramona Emerson



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Washington Heights Expeditionary Learning School, called “WHEELS,” graduates its 98% Latino students at far higher rates than other schools in New York City. See the enthusiasm and commitment that drives the teachers and the students in this innovative and successful program.

Produced by Patricia Benabe & David Alvarado, Rayuela Films




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Join the countdown as Savanna is racing to finish her work – with just two weeks left before graduation day.

As the days pass, Savanna is also counting down the last assignments she needs to complete so she can join her classmates on Graduation Day. Her school, Rosie the Riveter Charter High School, is supporting her as she aims to be the first in her family to get a high school diploma.

Produced by Christen Hepuakoa Marquez, Paradocs Films



Celestial Dancer

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Mealyann’s dancing “clears her mind,” she says, as she transforms into an apsara, a Cambodian goddess.

The Khmer Arts Academy in Long Beach, California, aims to produce youth leaders through immersion in Cambodia’s traditional arts. For Mealyann, dance acts as a bridge between home, school, and her own goals.

Produced by Christen Hepuakoa Marquez, Paradocs Films




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