Iowa Students to Appear in New Documentary - ABC5 News Des Moines, IA

Iowa Students to Appear in New Documentary

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by Alex Schuman

aschuman@myabc5.com

@alexschuman

What do Adam McKay, the co-creator of the Anchorman movies and Des Moines' East High School have in common?  They are both involved in a new documentary.

McKay is one of the producers of a new movie called Undroppable.  It's a documentary meant to inspire and inform students to finish school. 

In it, students from East High School in Des Moines tell stories about the adversity they face just to graduate.

The movie follows teens in what the film's producers call six of the country's "hardest hit" areas.

"Our students have compelling stories to tell," said East High Principal Steve Johns.

Johns makes an appearance in the film.  In his interview, he describes how different it is for many of his students than how he grew up.  His parents would sit him down at the dinner table and make him keep a strict study schedule. 

"This is a whole different dynamic when they aren't sitting at the table.  The financials aren't taken care of.  The food's not on the table unless the child produces it," he said.

7 in 10 students at East High live in poverty, but many still make it to school and fight from a young age to graduate.

Undroppable wants students to hear success stories from the kids who work full-time jobs or don't have parents, but who still make it to that diploma. 

"On graduation day, I'm going to feel amazing," said Whitney Stone, a student who appears in one of the movie's ads.  "That's like one of your first accomplishments that is like major."

"You went through school from K all the way up to 12 and you finally did it," she said.
 
The movie's set to come out in 2013.

Here is a direct link to the East High students' stories:
http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLA426507FF960E0E6

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