FILM REVIEW BY KLRN STAFF MEMBER JESUS FONSECA
INDEPENDENT LENS | THE GRADUATES "THE BOYS HOUR"
Growing up in a border city and being the first generation college graduate in my family really allowed me to identify with The Graduates Los Graduados. Although the focus is on the Latino community, educational barriers will always exist regardless of race. Whether it would be gangs, bullying, or even poverty, obstacles will always be present. The solution as stated in the film is engaging students and properly mentoring students down the correct path.
I personally believe sports are what kept me out of trouble growing up. There were always negative influences such as gangs in my neighborhood but it never really interested me. Almost all the neighborhood kids growing up would play street football, basketball, and even sand lot baseball year around. I played sports throughout middle school and high school and believe that it helped shape me as a person. Channeling energy towards something positive really helped. It doesn’t have to be sports, it could be dancing, art, acting or helping other people.
I had a mentor in high school who helped to guide me in the right direction. Mr. Ramirez, my career counselor, asked me one day what I was planning to do after high school. I had never really given it much thought. I could relate to the characters in The Graduates because I really had no idea of how to apply for college, much less pay for it. I couldn’t ask my parents because they had no clue since they had never gone to college. Much like Gustavo and Eduardo’s parents, my parents were always at work trying to provide for me. Mr. Ramirez was a huge influence in my life. He helped me apply for schools, apply for financial aid, and he even took me on several college tours.
As mentioned in the film, education is fundamental in securing America’s future. I could not agree more with this statement. The key is engaging students to do something that interests them and giving them that sense of “belonging.” The Graduates hit the nail on the head regarding Latinos and the current issues in our educational system.
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COMMUNITY CINEMA | OCTOBER 17 | SANTIKOS EMBASSY 14