Earlier this year, the Pew Hispanic Center reported that the number of Hispanic youth dropping out of high school hit a record low.
Despite the decrease, issues like teen pregnancy, over-crowded schools and pressure to contribute to family finances still plague many young Latinos.
Filmmaker Bernardo Ruiz’s film, “The Graduates/Los Graduados,” explores these roots of the Latino dropout crisis through the eyes of six Latino students from different regions of origin, geography and socio-economic status.
“All too often the Latino community is painted with one brush,” said Ruiz. “Part of what I wanted to do was showcase the diversity of the Latino community but also create a platform for Latino youth to share their stories.”
PBS NewsHour’s Student Reporting Labs site at the Brooklyn Community Arts and Media High School caught up with the filmmaker to discuss how he chose his subjects and why youth involvement is critical to storytelling.
The Independent Lens documentary will premiere on October 28, 2013 and November 4, 2013, at 10:00 p.m. EDT on PBS.