Independent Lens: The Graduates

Independent Lens: The Graduates

Fri, 09/16/2016 - 7:00pm - 9:00pm

Chastity grew up in the Bronx and almost dropped out when her family became homeless. She starts college this fall.

Provided by: ITVS

An eye-opening documentary on the challenges facing Latino students from across the USA.

The Graduates/Los Graduados features the pressing issues in education today are explored through the eyes of a diverse array of Latino and Latina adolescents from across the United States. It looks at  the challenges facing both the students and their families.

The Graduates/Los Graduados airs on WXXI-World on September 16, 2016 at 7-9 p.m. Re-airs 9/17 2pm-4pm

The Graduates/Los Graduados, a new two-part special from filmmaker Bernardo Ruiz, explores the many roots of the Latino dropout crisis through the eyes of six inspiring young students from across the United States who are part of an on-going effort to increase graduation rates for a growing Latino population. Much more than a survey of contemporary policy debates, the student profiles in The Graduates offer a first-hand perspective on the challenges facing many Latino high school students, including over-crowded schools, crime-ridden neighborhoods, teen pregnancy, and pressure to contribute to the family finances. The Graduates/Los Graduados is an eye-opening introduction to many of the determined and resilient young people who will shape America’s future.

“Latinos are the fastest growing segment of the U.S. population, so in many ways we are going to see a Latino future. We can't allow differences related to language, culture, race, become an obstacle to doing what’s in our national interest.” - Pedro Noguera, urban sociologist, The Graduates

FREE Education Resources: 

PBS Film Website: Includes 5 Documentary Shorts, and Resources

ITVS Engagement Resources

Community Discussion Guide (PDF, 3.3M)
Guide in Spanish (PDF, 3.3M)

Youth Action Guide (PDF, 988KB)
 Guide in Spanish (PDF, 3.3M)

Watch the trailer for the film:


The film is part of American Graduate: Let’s Make It Happen, a long-term public media commitment, supported by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), to help communities implement solutions to the high school dropout crisis. Public media plays a significant role building individual  activity, community capacity, and national awareness. The high school dropout crisis demands attention now, and we are rising to the challenge of doing our part to address this problem. Learn more: