Too many American students are not realizing the value of their education and are dropping out of school. Though schools have constantly enlisted the help of motivational speakers and guidance counselors, and though the rest of the world has been witness to public service announcements, these tactics are no longer having the same effect. The structure of our world has shifted to technology, and getting messages to our students has to use these tools.
A new generation of PSA.
Adam McKay, Sharon Chang, Jason Pollock and Scooter Braun realized that something else needed to be done in order to reach students today, and so the idea of Undroppable was born. Undroppable is a social media education documentary and campaign meant to raise awareness about the high school dropout epidemic in America.
The documentary will start by featuring six high schools, and the students and communities that are faced with high dropout rates. The documentary focuses on certain students who are remaining in school even though it’s uncommon for their communities, hoping to change the minds of students who plan on dropping out of school.
Right now, clips and interviews from eight weeks of footage can be viewed on Undroppable.com. This website will be the central location for the social media project and the film. On the website, viewers can see the interviews of both teachers and students at the six schools.
Some of the interviews talk to students who have faced numerous trials and tribulations—everything from teenage pregnancy to domestic abuse to continually moving across the US—and how even through these difficult situations, they are still remaining enrolled in high school. These students are sharing their personal experiences in order to let other students know that they too walked in their shoes and faced difficult situations, but the answer to the difficulty is not dropping out of school. These students are “undroppable”.
Six schools were selected from across the United States for the first installment of the project, and filming started in April 2012. The producers of this documentary partnered with Get Schooled in order to have access to the schools and students. The schools that were chosen include La Causa/Youthbuild Charter School in Los Angeles, California; Collins Academy in Chicago, Illinois; Palumbo Academy in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Joplin High School in Joplin, Missouri; East High School in Des Moines, Iowa; and New Bedford High in New Bedford, Massachusetts.
The dropout rate in American high schools is high, and students need to realize the importance of graduating. Rather than focus on the negativity, Undroppable focuses on the good in order to inspire others to stay in school.
The documentary and campaign proves that students can make the decision to go to school and graduate no matter what else is going on in their lives. The campaign highlights those students who are doing something extraordinary for their communities, and the goal of this campaign is to change the way that people perceive dropouts.
It’s a new take on documentaries, pushing it out through social campaigns and using the Internet to reach students. The documentary has the potential to do well and resonate with studnets today, but only time will tell if it’s successful.
Image Credit: 1.