The girls on the Reagan High School Dance Team get up early in the morning, and practice all week. But when they show the crowds what they've got, it's all worth it.
Aileen O'Conor,Esme Ramirez,James Stafford
When Joe Vela saw a gang problem developing in Austin, he decided that teaching kids boxing was one way to get them off the streets. Through his organization, Austin Boxing Against Drugs, he estimates he helps about 600 kids a year to learn confidence and discipline through training.
Along the Texas-Mexico border, a bike is more than just a fun, convenient, free way to get around. For factory workers along the border, it provides an alternative to the company bus. Here's what happens when a group of East Austin bicycle activists decided to deliver a truckload of bikes to their neighbors to the south.
David Tillman,Ryan Williams
While East Austin is home to both African-Americans and Hispanics, both groups don't always intermingle. Community activists Juan Valadez and Boyd Vance decided to do something about it. By inviting both communities to celebrate cultural festivals like Mexican Independence Day and Martin Luther King, Jr., Day, they hope to make East Austin feel more like one big community than many fragmented groups.
Wade Couturiaux,Rob Ripperda,David Tilman,Ryan Williams
Yolanda Solis is a fourth-generation Mexican-American. Alejandro Mendez is a recent immigrant from Mexico. Both face the quintessential American challenge: surviving junior high. In this documentary, they talk about their families, their lives, their perceptions of other races, and what their Mexican heritage means to them.
Melissa Aellos,Laura Donnelly
The girls in the rock-climbing club at the Camacho Center have learned a lot. They learned to tie harnesses, to figure out routes, to push themselves when they're tired, and that boys just aren't that good at climbing.
Perla Arpero is a senior at the recently re-named Eastside Memorial High School. Eastside is a troubled school fighting for its existence and that has a profound effect on the students. Perla talks about her hopes for her school and her community. Made by Jazmine Ulloa and Rita Chapa.
Ulloa Jazmine,Rita Chapa
Helen Gagne,Jennifer Parales,Christina Kim
LBJ High School in East Austin has a magnet program and a non-magnet program in one building. The magnet school draws kids from all over Austin, while the non-magnet is mainly local students. Students from both schools discuss their high school experience.
Vanessa Orr,Mariah Taylor
Jeff Gipson,Joshua Tate,Yuta Yamaguchi
Luissana Santibañez’s family is torn apart when their mother is arrested and detained in the infamous Hutto immigration detention center, near Houston Luissana must now care for her three siblings, all U.S. citizens, using her student loans and welfare. What has happened to Luissana’s family is happening to families all across America.
Luissana’s parents are both Mexican nationals with no green card. When her father is deported, her mother is forced to find employment to support her family. Luciana’s mother was arrested by ICE officials during a routine traffic accident involving the van in which she was riding. She has been detained for the past 15 months. If their mother gets deported, the Santibañez children will be forced to move to Mexico, a country and culture they do not know, radically changing their educations and their futures.
Luissana Santibanez,Jenny Alvarado,Sarah Lim
Taylor black,Sweta Vohra,Caroline Hoffman,Lindsay Stillman
Rose Saenz,Matt Castro
This documentary explores the intensity and eager enthusiasm of soccer Coach Juan Flores. Juan is a true believer in purity and the greatness of the sport; he coaches to create opportunities for young girls who come from diverse backgrounds and feels that soccer is a gateway to success.
Jonas-Hall Noreggaard,Brittany Hammer,Sergio Rabczuk
Miguel Guajardo,Lane Genzlinger,Arlette Saucedo,Juan Valadez
His grandma called him Popcorn ‘cause his eyes were so big. And those eyes saw a lot as he grew to adulthood in East Austin. The beatboxer, breakdancer, and former drug dealer has seen murder, death, and the desperate things people will do for crack. Now, although he’s straightened his life out, he’s seeing the younger generation make the same mistakes he did.
Daniel Del Favero
Since 1986, Casa Marianella has sheltered, among others, young men fleeing lethal gangs in Central America. This film shows how wars in Nicaragua and El Salvador and the waves of U.S. political asylum and deportation that followed gave rise to violent pandillas. Human rights activists explain how the issue has been distorted through binoculars of hype and machismo. Government crackdowns, they say, only punish the victims -- people like Osman, Jorge and Marlon, who have found refuge at Casa Marianella. Bearing los heridos (the scars) of gang membership, they are struggling to their feet in Austin, as students and as workers, sending support to their families back home.
Damien Brockmann,Maure Kennedy,Juan Valadez
In Roman Rocha's Spanish class, verbs are conjugated and floors collapse. He dims the lights and students' eyes open wide, ready for another tale of local mystery. Martin Middle School's Rocha says he makes ghost stories "a reward" for work, but, weaving two languages in the tale-telling, his "kinesthetic" teaching never stops. Everyone will remember that a bruja (witch) makes candles out of corpses. Pencils scratch and doors creak. That whooshing sound is Roman Rocha, sneaky as a phantom, passing East Austin's lore on to another generation.
Caroline Hoffman,Maure Kennedy,Laura Kincaid,Melissa Woodward
Jonas-Hall Noreggaard,Brittany Hammer,Sergio Rabczuk
JoJoe Johnson made his television debut on Austin Community Access in the second grade. Now, he hosts his own call-in show called “What’s On Your Mind,” where young people can talk about their troubles and concerns. Next, he says, he’ll be a famous television producer—on the way he’s happy hearing what Austin kids have to say.
Life is a process of changes: finishing school, going to college, having children, making a living. As Robert Mendoza and Cuquita Rangel explain, every change comes with rewards and struggles.
John Henicke,Markell Pool
Learning to read—and especially spell—English is hard for anyone. For native speakers of other languages, a little extra help is often required. The Victory tutoring program provides that help.