In 1988, the Merrill Lynch Foundation promised full college scholarships to 250 inner-city students in U.S. cities if they finished high school and got accepted to college. Thirty kids in the first-grade class at Capital View Elementary School in southwest Atlanta were among those chosen for the opportunity.
"Defying the Odds" tells the tales of Calvin, Tiffany, Tony, John and Marketa, whose stories are representative of the overall experiences of children in the program.
First aired in 2002, the film was created by Georgia Public Television producer/director Pamela Roberts and photography director Wayne Baumgardner. They followed the five youths from 1998, in their 10th-grade year of high school, through graduation and beyond.
During the three years the documentary was filmed, the students worked to take advantage of the college promise while confronting obstacles such as poverty, death, drugs, family problems and violence.
Only one of the five graduated from college - a percentage that mirrored results in the Merrill Lynch Foundation program nationwide.
"Defying the Odds" will be shown at 7 p.m. Admission is free.
The Clarkston Library is at 951 North Indian Creek Drive. For more information, visit http://220.127.116.11/programs/defying/index.htm or call 404-508-7175.
© 2008 CrossRoadsNews