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

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.

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
Student Well-Being Webinar
Equity, Care and Connection: New SEL Tools and Practices to Support Students and Adults
As school districts plan to welcome students back into buildings for the upcoming school year, this is the perfect time to take a hard look at both our practices and our systems to build a
Content provided by Panorama Education
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
Classroom Technology Webinar
Here to Stay – Pandemic Lessons for EdTech in Future Development
What technology is needed in a post pandemic district? Learn how changes in education will impact development of new technologies.
Content provided by AWS
School & District Management Live Online Discussion A Seat at the Table: Strategies & Tips for Complex Decision-Making
Schools are working through the most disruptive period in the history of modern education, facing a pandemic, economic problems, social justice issues, and rapid technological change all at once. But even after the pandemic ends,

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 There’s Insurance for Homes or Cars—Why Not College Degrees?
Rick Hess talks with Wade Eyerly, the CEO of Degree Insurance, about the company's plan to make investing in a college degree less risky.
7 min read
Image shows a multi-tailed arrow hitting the bullseye of a target.
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty
College & Workforce Readiness Fewer Students in Class of 2020 Went Straight to College
First-year college enrollment dropped steeply last year, a study finds, and the declines were sharpest among poorer students.
6 min read
Image shows University Application Acceptance Notification Letter with ACCEPTED Stamp
YinYang/Getty
College & Workforce Readiness Letter to the Editor Are Students Ready for Post-Pandemic Reality?
Schools must make improving students' essential skills a priority for college and career success, says the CEO and president of CAE.
1 min read
College & Workforce Readiness This Is Not a Good Time to Fall Off the College Track. Students Are Doing It Anyway
Fewer students in the Class of 2021 are applying for college financial aid, continuing a drop that started last year.
6 min read
Applications for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form are on the decline.
Applications for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form are on the decline.
Jon Elswick/AP