Stepping Up

Directed by Juliane Dressner.

One of the great civil rights issues of our time is equal access to higher education. We know that the only sure path out of poverty in America is a college degree.

We like to tell ourselves that ours is an equal opportunity society, where education is the great equalizer, where there is social mobility.

And colleges say they are eager to enroll students from low-income communities.

This film shows what it is like for students from low-income communities who want to go to college, but lack the support they need to get there.

The film shows the struggles and triumphs from the perspective of students who dream of attaining a college degree, but face obstacles due to the fact that their high schools have not prepared them for college and don’t employ college guidance counselors, and they don’t have anyone at home who can help them with the process.  

Our main characters step up to fill this gap for their peers, helping them navigate the college process. And even as they make a real difference helping their friends, we can’t help but ask ourselves, does it really have to be this hard?  Why are we as a society dangling a dream without providing the support needed to attain it?