Documentary featuring students from The Howard School to premiere on Friday
Posted on 05/30/2019
Howard School students in documentary.Diploma Dreams, a documentary featuring local English to speakers of other languages (ESOL) high school students from The Howard School will premiere on Friday, May 3 at 5:30 p.m. at Redemption to the Nations Church. The documentary, by executive producer Pablo Mazariegos, highlights the challenges that The Howard School immigrant students face when attempting to complete their high school education and the role the faculty plays in the students’ pursuit of their academic dreams.

"The relationship building that Howard faculty fosters with their ESOL students is moving,” said Mazariegos. “In Diploma Dreams, viewers learn that the Howard High School faculty is a great example showing that empathy and relationship building are the foundation to immigrant youth emotional wellness and academic success."

The program will begin at 5:30 p.m. and food will be provided until the screening of the documentary begins at 6 p.m. After the screening, the community will have a chance to join Glady Pineda in planning an international community event that will benefit the Newcomers Academy at The Howard School and the Bridges to Success program at Chattanooga State Community College. During the event there will be an opportunity to hear from Howard administration, meet the faculty and learn about many of the programs that Howard offers to their students.

The documentary project was funded through an Arts Build grant under the organization’s Community Cultural Connections program and backed by the Hamilton County Family Justice Center. The purpose of the documentary is to address the social-emotional wellness and truancy issues in immigrant youth. The goal of this production is to motivate students to embrace their story, attend school regularly, and graduate.

“As a counselor, my philosophy is that healing begins when our experience is felt and understood,” added Mazariegos.

Following the screening, Gladys Pineda will announce the “GP Carnaval Hispano and CFC Copa Latino-Americana de Futbol 2019” that will take place during the last weekend of September 2019 at the Highland Park Commons at 2000 Union Avenue. During the event, participants will visit booths that represent different Latin American countries and take part in activities to further their knowledge of these nations. Goodie bags will be awarded to the first 800 who complete the challenge.

"With our background and knowledge of the local international community, we are planning to become a Chattanooga annual signature event that will draw people from the entire region,” said Pineda. “This free Carnival will feature the CFC Passport to Latin-American Challenge.”

Other organizations involved in the documentary project are Hamilton County Family Justice Center, Hamilton County Schools, Community Foundation of Greater Chattanooga, 7 Media Productions and Friendship Records.

Watch the documentary trailer