Independent Lens: The Graduates - Part 2

About This Episode


The Graduates/Los Graduados explores pressing issues in education today through the eyes of six Latino and Latina students from across the United States. More than a survey of contemporary policy debates, the bilingual, two-part film offers first-hand perspectives on key challenges facing Latino high school students and their families, educators, and community leaders. It is the story of the graduates who will make up America’s future.

The film follows six teenagers — three girls and three boys — each with their own unique obstacles to overcome. “Boys” gives us three more teenagers who are just as distinct: Juan, a Dominican living in Lawrence, Massachusetts who was bullied as a gay teen until finding his own identity as a performer and writer; Eduardo from San Diego, who is steered away from the gang path when introduced to a special college prep organization that changes his outlook; and Gustavo, who came to America from Mexico to live in the very different environment of Georgia and whose dreams of college are blocked by his undocumented status.

The film also interweaves engaging interviews with successful Latinos — actors like Wilmer Valderrama, activists, writers like Angie Cruz, politicians such as San Antonio mayor Julian Castro, teachers, and more — looking back on their own experiences as a student in the USA.

Spotlight Education