Growing up in West Baltimore, a neighborhood plagued with high unemployment and generational poverty, Princaya, Davioin, Courtney, Tyler, and Shakeer live with drug violence at their doorsteps and fears of being killed by the police.
Speaking for African American youth throughout the country growing up in disadvantaged neighborhoods, they share the challenges of their world. The five documentaries filmed over a seven-year period, from sixth grade to high school graduation, capture their resilience and determination to find a better life.About the Stars
In 12th grade, academic pressure intensifies along with the challenge of college applications. Not able to afford college tuition or housing, they must also navigate the complex world of financial aid. By the spring of senior year, they celebrate their many acceptances.
But putting together the financial packages necessary for full funding is the greatest barrier to achieving their college dream. Remembering the inspiring words of Ray Lewis, they continue the journey.
10th grade, a year of extraordinary achievement, suddenly crashes in March 2020 with pandemic upheaval. The isolation of virtual learning and lack of resources in their community intensifies the trauma. Messages of hate and racism accelerate with the killing of George Floyd, fueling their fear of police.
Encouraging them to pursue their college dream, Wes Moore inspires them to continue their quest.
Determined to succeed, Princaya, Shakeer, Davioin, Tyler and Courtney are excited to be accepted at the most prestigious public high schools. Competing with Baltimore’s best, challenged as never before, they realize each grade counts not only for high school, but also for college.
On a special trip to Annapolis, they are inspired by a visit with Maryland State Senator Jill Carter.
8th grade is a year of incredible pressure. To be accepted at one of the few highly competitive college preparatory high schools in Baltimore, they must get very high scores on a city mandated standardized test. And now as young teens, they begin to realize the racial stereotypes that define youth in their neighborhoods.
In middle school, Princaya, Davioin, Courtney, Tyler and Shakeer already have dreams for a better future. Unaware of the many barriers to success plaguing their community, they focus on education to take them to the world they want.