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directors Roger Weisberg and Vanessa Roth, with support from the Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative, Annie E. Casey Foundation, and Casey Family Programs. AGING OUT is a production of Public Policy Productions for Thirteen/WNET New York.It will be broadcast on PBS nationwide May 26, 2005. Check local listings.
The film follows young people as they exit foster care and become parents, battle drug addiction, face homelessness, and even end up in jail. Despite their struggles, the film also shows these teenagers using the resiliency they developed during their years "in the system" to take control of their lives. It also forces us to consider the strengths and weaknesses of the public systems that serve these youth, as well asthe roles that private citizens and organizations can play.
In Los Angeles, David Griffin looks back on a life in more than 20 foster care, mental health, and juvenile justice facilities. Abandoned by his mother when he was just six weeks old, David leaves foster care for the streets, goes on a self-destructive drug and crime binge, copes with homelessness and incarceration, argues with his former foster parents, and eventually leaves Los Angeles for Seattle with hopes of becominga fisherman in Alaska.
Risa Bejarano managed to become the first member of her familyto advance past the 10th grade, despite shuttling between a dozen different Los Angeles foster homes after being abused and molested as a child. The cameras record Risa as she attends her high school prom and graduates with several scholarships, but they also capture her quiet battle with drug addiction and a devastating emotional breakdown during her freshman year at the University of California at Santa Barbara. When we last see her, Risa is enrolled in a community college.
Daniella Anderson reported her abusive father to the authoritieswhen she was 15 and spent the next five years in 10 different group homes in New York City. As she leaves the foster care system, she juggles her college career with the hard reality of living with her boyfriend, raising her newborn child, paying rent and putting enough food on the table.
Veasna Rin Hover: In foster care from his infancy; friend and, later, husband of Daniella; father of their son Elijah.
Tim Mayworm: Director of Journey House, David's group home when we first meet him.
Pearl and Bob Galasso: David's first foster family; he seeks helpfrom them throughout the film. Melody, David's sister, continues tolive with them.
Dolores Ruiz: Risa's 10th foster mother, who has been raisingRisa for two years. She is also raising four other girls in foster care.She continues to help Risa after she is emancipated.
Alejandra Bejarano (Ale): Risa's sister.
Venetta Williams: Risa's case manager.
Norma Uriguin: Foster care director of the Inwood House agency responsible for Daniella.
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