The Graduates Broadcast and Online Screening

Posted by Renee Gasch on

Latinos are the youngest and fastest growing population in Southern California and the United States, yet the voices of Latino youth are rarely heard in mainstream media. An inspiring new class of graduates is changing that.

The Graduates, a two-part film series by Bernardo Ruiz and part of Independent Lens, explores issues of education today through the eyes of six Latino students. The film has screened nearly 100 times in cities across the country from San Diego, California to Burlington, Vermont since September as part of Community Cinema’s ninth season.

Events organized by public television stations and local organizations brought together youth, parents, teachers and education advocates to discuss solutions for increasing the Latino graduation rate, which predicts that one in four Latino students will drop out. Share what you think about this startling prediction on the PBS SoCaL Facebook page.

A national audience will meet Chastity, Darlene, and Stephanie, three Latinas featured in The Graduates. Be inspired by these remarkable “protagonistas” as they overcome seemingly insurmountable odds of homelessness, teen pregnancy, and zero tolerance policies in school and ultimately reach their graduation. Part one of the film series broadcasts on Monday October 28th at 10:00 PM on PBS SoCaL.

On Tuesday October 29th at 4:00 pm Pacific Time, join PBS SoCaL and Community Cinema for an online encore screening of the Girls Hour and chat live with filmmaker Katia Mcguire, film subject Chastity Salas, and our celebrity guest Aimee Garcia. The conversation will be moderated by Dr. Damary M. Bonilla-Rodriguez from Girls Inc. Join the screening at

Part two of The Graduates series profiles three Latino young men as they overcome obstacles of gang involvement, undocumented status, and LGBT bullying. One of the students, Eduardo Corona is from the City Heights neighborhood of San Diego. His and his siblings became involved in gangs and Eduardo’s future was at a perilous fork in the road after being arrested and facing six years in prison. See how Eduardo improves his life and gets a fresh start on part two of the documentary airing Monday November 4th at 10:00 PM. This will be followed by an online encore screening on Tuesday November 5th at 4:00 PM.

Bring The Graduates to your school or community by downloading resources in English and Spanish from the show’s website: View PBS SoCaL Education resources for our resources for parents, teachers and community members. 

Written by Renee Gasch, National Community Engagement Manager, ITVS with additional contributions by Mark Mobley, Interactive Content Coordinator, PBS SoCaL.