The film tells the story of education from the students’ perspective. While the experts point to the billions of dollars in public funding shortfalls and declining student proficiency rates, these high school team members see a deeper problem.
Marshall Fundamental Secondary School senior Khadejah Ray heads the group. “While my team members and I have benefited from the best that our public schools have to offer, we are really concerned that many, if not most, of the students enrolled just don’t seem to care about learning. This is the real crisis. If a young person sees no future by going to school, he or she is a prime candidate to drop-out or, at best, to just barely get by,” Ms. Ray explains.
“We cannot just leave education to the experts,” adds Betty Ogba, a Marshall junior and the team’s deputy executive director. “We students must take responsibility as well. Too many of our fellow students don’t care about school.”
The student team has had the fortune of engaging award-winning filmmakers Bayou Bennett and Daniel Bennett (www.dolcefilms.com). While mentoring the students in the art of filmmaking, Lir and Bennett are directing the Finding Our Voice documentary with a “youth speaking to power” view that should help take the message viral.
As they near the December 8 premiere, Executive Producer Timothy Bowles states, “One of the biggest challenges has been how to condense so many remarkable hours of the students’ footage into a short 12 minute piece. The whole team is really excited to see the audience’s response.”
BTI Communications Group (www.btigroup.com) CEO Scott Staver and Founder Eric Brackett saw the importance this project has on America’s future. They quickly came on board as Producers to support Youth for Human Rights student team’s intention to make this documentary a major vehicle for youth leadership and human rights empowerment, entering it in film festivals and giving it an appropriate distribution where it will do the most good.
Youth for Human Rights International (YHRI) is a nonprofit organization founded in 2001 by Dr. Mary Shuttleworth, an educator born and raised in apartheid South Africa, where she witnessed firsthand the devastating effects of discrimination and the lack of basic human rights.
The purpose of YHRI is to teach youth about human rights, specifically the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and inspire them to become advocates for tolerance and peace. YHRI has now grown into a global movement, including hundreds of groups, clubs and chapters around the world.
For more information contact:
Kylah Sherstobitoff, Media Relations
10350 Heritage Park Dr., Suite 101
Santa Fe Springs, CA 90670