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FHN and Nahed Chapman Grew a Connection Through the Showing of the Documentary “Day One”

FHN sophomore, Caroline Blanke.

FHN sophomore, Caroline Blanke.

Credit to Kylah Woods and Rebekah Myers

FHN sophomore, Caroline Blanke.

Credit to Kylah Woods and Rebekah Myers

Credit to Kylah Woods and Rebekah Myers

FHN sophomore, Caroline Blanke.

FHN and Nahed Chapman Grew a Connection Through the Showing of the Documentary “Day One”

Published: November 27, 2018

Nestled in the west wing of Roosevelt High School, the NCNAA often goes unnoticed by those outside. In the current day and age in which immigrants and refugees can be seen as an area of controversy, Los Angeles, filmmaker Lori Miller took on the task of creating a documentary on the school. A documentary to do more than just inform those who watch it of a pressing issue, but motivate them to make a change.

“After I had heard about Nahed Chapman from a local friend of mine, I knew there were great stories inside,” Miller said. “We were very moved by the kids’ stories and the passion of the educators. Even though we were at a crunch for both time and money, we felt really strong about making it and knew we just needed to go with it.”

Filmed over the span of two years, the documentary, titled “Day One” features various students and their stories, as well as showcases the school and its operations. ESOL (English for speakers of other language) teacher Keary Ritchie works hard to build a connection with her students and hopes the documentary leaves a lasting impact on those that watch it.

“I really hope it opens eyes to youth that are in our community,” Ritchie said. “A lot of people have mixed feelings about refugees. It will be interesting how people respond. I hope some will be motivated to help.”

Due to the connections FHN has built with Nahed Chapman through various drives and organizations, FHN showed the documentary on Nov. 7 to 9. Senior Michaela Mihova is involved with the pen pals program and attended a viewing to get more familiar with the students she was building a relationship with.

“[The documentary] made me realize a lot of things,” Mihova said. “I was opened up to a different environment than what I’m used to and I realized that we really take a lot of things for granted, especially education which is something we often dismiss.”

Likewise, Miller believes all this will show in the film as her and her team worked hard to portray a powerful message to those who view it.

“I think [the documentary] will break down stereotypes and show how just being a neighbor to these kids can make a difference,” Miller said. “Getting to know these kids, even though they’ve gone through so much trauma and overcome so much adversity, they are just like us.”

 

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