Jaime won’t graduate from high school this year. A sudden change in his immigration status halted the senior’s college dreams and is taking a toll on his life. The 19-year-old is chronically absent, failing classes and getting into fights. In another school, his downturn may have ended in punishments or push out. But Jaime goes to Lyons Community School. Not only does Lyons keep him in, but it gives him the opportunity to counsel other students facing similar struggles.
Jaime is exactly the kind of kid Principal Taeko Onishi set out to help when she founded the Brooklyn school. For more than a decade, she’s run a place where student success does not necessarily equate to academic achievement.
But now, Lyons is facing scrutiny for poor academic performance. And as Jaime’s sights begin to set on high school graduation and citizenship, Taeko fights to keep the school around him open.
Diana Chan is a video journalist and documentary filmmaker from Hong Kong. She grew up in South Africa before moving back home as a teenager. Diana is interested in political and social stories, especially ones about the pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong. Diana has worked for CNN and Reuters and, most recently, was a staff video journalist for AFP in Hong Kong. She received her Masters in documentary filmmaking from the Columbia Journalism School.
Christina Kelso is a multimedia journalist and documentary filmmaker based in New York City. She specializes in coverage of education, health and environmental issues. Originally from a small town on the outskirts of Jacksonville, Florida, Christina spent five years in local news as a photojournalist and writer for The Florida Times-Union and The St. Augustine Record daily papers. Christina received her masters in documentary film from Columbia Journalism School.