College & Workforce Readiness Documentary

A Year Interrupted

2020 High School Seniors Face COVID-19 and an Uncertain Future
By Elizabeth Rich & Brooke Saias — December 15, 2020 1 min read
College & Workforce Readiness Documentary

A Year Interrupted

2020 High School Seniors Face COVID-19 and an Uncertain Future
By Elizabeth Rich & Brooke Saias — December 15, 2020 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

About This Documentary

When COVID-19 shuttered school buildings this spring, Wakefield High School seniors Luis and Faith, like hundreds of thousands of other teens in the United States, were looking forward to graduation. In the midst of a devastating pandemic, they must find a way to celebrate their success and weigh big decisions, including college and how to afford it.

As the first generation of their immigrant families to attend a four-year college, Luis, the son of El Salvadoran parents, and Faith, the daughter of Nigerian parents, want nothing more than to fulfill their parents’ dreams, even as they feel the weight of their families’ expectations. Luis and Faith are fortunate though to have the backing of Wakefield’s college-access programs for young men (Cohort) and women (United Minority Girls) of color. But without the in-person support of their peers and the programs’ sponsors, all the emotional work of leaving high school and feeling prepared for college grows harder.

Told largely through Luis’ and Faith’s personal video diaries over a six-month period, this documentary follows the two friends as they navigate the end of a complicated school year and the beginning of a new one.

Wakefield High School in Arlington, Va., home to a successful college-going program for students of color, went fully remote on March 13, 2020.

About Wakefield's Programs

Wakefield High School in Arlington, Va., is home to a diverse student body of about 2,000 9th-12th grade students.
In 2000, the school created Cohort, a competitive academic program which serves to increase the college-going of its Black and Latino male students. Since its founding, the program has graduated more than 450 young men, 93 percent of whom have gone on to college.
In 2006, Wakefield founded United Minority Girls, which provides similar support to the school’s female students of color. Over the last 14 years, UMG has seen 97 percent of its more than 500 members attend college.
Today, Tim Cotman and Wendy Maitland, who work closely with both groups, serve as the programs’ co-sponsors. The programs are supported, in part, by longtime Arlington residents Ralph and Jan Johnson.

Directed & Produced by Elizabeth Rich, Brooke Saias
Filmed by Brooke Saias
Edited by Brooke Saias
Graphics by Kaylee Domzalski
Original Music by Sam Kyzivat
Sound Design by Cody Ball
Production Assistants: Cat Brunner, Graeme Sloane
Executive Producer: Emma Patti Harris
Additional Filming by: Anna Brannon, Luis Campos, Faith Achugamonu, Stephanie Achugamonu, Claudia Campos, Tim Cotman
Special thanks to: Luis Campos & Family, Faith Achugamonu & family, Tim Cotman, Wendy Maitland, Cohort & United Minority Girls students, John Clisham, Alan Beitler, Wakefield High School, Washington University in St. Louis, Virginia Commonwealth University, Dominique Bander, Madeline Will.

Coverage of the education of exceptionally promising students who have financial need is supported in part by a grant from the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, at www.jkcf.org. Education Week retains sole editorial control over the content of this coverage.


Commenting has been disabled on edweek.org effective Sept. 8. Please visit our FAQ section for more details. To get in touch with us visit our contact page, follow us on social media, or submit a Letter to the Editor.


Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Teaching Webinar
What’s Next for Teaching and Learning? Key Trends for the New School Year
The past 18 months changed the face of education forever, leaving teachers, students, and families to adapt to unprecedented challenges in teaching and learning. As we enter the third school year affected by the pandemic—and
Content provided by Instructure
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Curriculum Webinar
How Data and Digital Curriculum Can Drive Personalized Instruction
As we return from an abnormal year, it’s an educator’s top priority to make sure the lessons learned under adversity positively impact students during the new school year. Digital curriculum has emerged from the pandemic
Content provided by Kiddom
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Equity & Diversity Webinar
Leadership for Racial Equity in Schools and Beyond
While the COVID-19 pandemic continues to reveal systemic racial disparities in educational opportunity, there are revelations to which we can and must respond. Through conscientious efforts, using an intentional focus on race, school leaders can
Content provided by Corwin

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

College & Workforce Readiness Opinion What Will It Take to Get High School Students Back on Track?
Three proven strategies can support high school graduation and postsecondary success—during and after the pandemic.
Robert Balfanz
5 min read
Conceptual illustration of students making choices based on guidance.
Viktoria Kurpas/iStock
College & Workforce Readiness Opinion An Economist Explains How to Make College Pay
Rick Hess speaks with Beth Akers about practical advice regarding how to choose a college, what to study, and how to pay for it.
6 min read
Image shows a multi-tailed arrow hitting the bullseye of a target.
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty
College & Workforce Readiness What the Research Says College Enrollment Dip Hits Students of Color the Hardest
The pandemic led to a precipitous decline in enrollment for two-year schools, while four-year colleges and universities held steady.
3 min read
Conceptual image of blocks moving forward, and one moving backward.
Marchmeena29/iStock/Getty
College & Workforce Readiness Letter to the Editor How We Can Improve College-Completion Rates
Early- and middle-college high schools have the potential to improve college completion rates, says this letter to the editor.
1 min read