Joelle Gonzalez's activity stream
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Joelle Gonzalez answered 2014-08-15 15:12:24 -0700Q: What is your short digital video concept proposal? Please provide an innovative concept surrounding the American Graduate theme, while adhering to WORLD’s public media provided guidelines.
A: Attainment in the South Bronx
It was Michael Rosa’s third day of Spanish at Hostos Community College in New York City. Rosa got into a shouting match with his professor. It happened so often in those days that he doesn’t remember what this particular fight was about – only that he refused to leave the classroom. Security guards came and escorted him across the bridge back to his high school, Hostos-Lincoln Academy. Under pressure, Hostos Community College faculty re-enrolled him in another college Spanish course.
Early College High School Initiative is a program funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, created with the goal of getting at-risk students an associate’s degree or an equivalent amount of transferable credit by the end of high school.
It took Michael, a few classes and some poor grades, but Rosa now knows how to operate in a college course. Working hard to make up for earlier mistakes, improved his grades and remained hopeful about earning his associate’s degree and he did. Nowadays, he is enrolled at NYU as a theater major.
Without the Early College High School Initiative, he said, “I don’t know what I’d be doing.” Instead of going to college, “I’d be confused and pissed off.”
Similar stories are shared by two other former students, Michael Flores and Brittney Parker. Michael has earned a BA from Binghamton University and Brittney graduated from University of Pennsylvania this year. Both of them share the same struggles, striving to succeed in such rugged terrain as the South Bronx of New York. Mr. Rosa and Ms. Parker were both former students of mine a few years ago when I taught Social Problems during a summer course at Hostos Community College. This fact provides me with extraordinary insight and a unique perspective to tell their stories.
Hostos Lincoln Academy, a 550-student middle and high school is a success story in New York City’s South Bronx. The school whose students are 99 percent minority, with two-thirds living at or below the poverty line, graduates about 90 percent of its students in four years, and nearly the same percentage go to college. That’s well above graduation rates that are closer to 50 percent in the rest of the South Bronx, where most of the students live. One fourth of Hostos Lincoln Academy seniors are full time college students.
My American Graduate Digital Video Project proposal is a 3-5 minutes video, highlighting the extraordinary lives of the 3 young Americans. Using Michael’s story as a frame of reference, the audience will experience what is takes to have a successful story in the midst of one of the poorest districts in the nation. The audience will understand thru their testimonies their road throughout high school, college and been able and graduation. Specifically the video will focus on Early College High School Initiative and the importance of it in Michael, Brittney and Michael’s lives.
My artistic approach will include direct interviews, allowing the interviewees to speak directly about events, prompted by questions asked by the director.
Cinéma vérité to allow the camera to unveil the truth and highlight the subjects hidden behind crude realities, using stylized set-ups and the interaction between the filmmaker and the subject to recount the story.
Additionally incorporating direct cinema style with the usage of hand-held cameras will create intimacy between the subject and the audience.
To supplement the elements of the film, I am incorporating photographs, mementos and some amateur videos (made by the students) about their journey from graduating Lincoln Hostos Academy to their pilgrimage to college.
Thus, using my editor artistic abilities, we will incorporate, 3 D animation to create a fast pace, informational, youth oriented video to convey the message of a successful story after graduating high school.
The final product will highlight the tribes and tribulations our characters (Michael, Brittney and Michael) endured and their road to become a success story. “From the South Bronx to NYU” in Michael’s case. The video will convey the main message and ideas accordingly with the American Graduate theme, “Let’s make it happen”.
RFP should be completed by 11:59 p.m. PST, Friday, August 15th, 2014.
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