Directors: Precious and Leah
Camera: Rick, Raseph, Connor
Sound: Helene, BB, Laith
Interviewers: Laith, Precious, Leah
Student Mentor: Forrest
Editors: Leah, Connor, Ellie, Julie
Teaching Artists: Ellie Walton, Julie Espinosa, Brandon Kramer, Lance Kramer
Music: Sam McCormally, Steve Steckler, Rob Smith
Executive Producers: Brandon Kramer, Lance Kramer
Doing it for Me is a 25-minute documentary that explores the dropout crisis from a unique, personal perspective. Told from a young person’s point of view, the film offers audiences the opportunity to empathize and engage with the complicated circumstances that lead teens to drop out of school.
During the 2011-2012 school year, only 61% of Washington DC’s young people graduated high school within four years and 1,953 youth left school without indicating if they were enrolling in another program. One in 10 of DC youth aged 16-24 is not in school and is unemployed. Jessica, Victoria and Precious’s journey to better their lives, their education, and their friendship is an inspiring story that offers hope in the power of education, art, and storytelling to change lives.
The film was produced during the Spring and Summer 2013 semesters, funded in large part through a generous grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.
Here's how Leah Edwards, co-director of Doing it for Me, summarizes the film:
Jessica and Victoria are two young women in Washington, DC who both dropped out of high school for personal and family reasons. When their best friend of many years, eighteen-year-old Precious Lambert, became deeply concerned that Jessica and Victoria were becoming ‘lost,’ she decided to do something about it. As a student in the youth documentary program at Sitar Arts Center, Precious and her classmates set out to use the process of creating a documentary to help tell their story and along the way, chart a new direction for Jessica and Victoria’s future. Doing it for Me is a film about the people who drop out of high school, who they really are deep inside, and what they want to achieve.
Doing it for Me is a unique youth-produced documentary, exploring the dropout crisis from a personal and introspective viewpoint. Rather than present faceless statistics, Doing it for Me offers an intimate and compassionate glimpse into the real experiences of high school dropouts as told by young people ourselves. As the majority of us are in high school, we hope Doing it for Me will shed light on a real topic that we feel passionate about and deeply connected to. We hope through learning about Jessica and Victoria's struggle and journey, our film will motivate young people who have dropped out to get back on-track and find new purpose in their lives.
There's more to high school drop-outs than you really think. And it's never too late to make a difference.
Doing it for Me Premiere
September 17, 2013
Sitar Arts Center
Bethesda Film Fest
March 21-22, 2014
Annapolis Film Festival
March 27-30, 2014
Documentary goes national
by Rachel Nania
WTOP - 103.5 FM