Low graduation rates and poverty dominate the story of New Mexico education. However, when examined through the lens of rural New Mexican students, a dynamic and more complex set of human narratives emerge – of deep family ties, perseverance, cultural traditions, bridging worlds, personal struggle and success.
The protagonists of the film navigate the myriad of complexities facing rural teenagers today:
Waylon is Navajo and lives without running water or electricity and helps provide the basic needs for his family;
Jimmy faces the challenges of poverty and lives with a family torn apart by addiction;
Juan balances his English speaking school and his Spanish speaking home;
Mitch stays rooted in her Pueblo traditions as she works hard to be the school’s valedictorian;
Vicky lost her mother and must hold down a fast food job to help support her family;
Tiqua must separate from the stability of her fifth-generation farm family.
The film follows the students as they face complex economic realities and straddle their hopes and dreams of childhood with the responsibilities of adulthood.