Film Features Seiberling CLC Alumnae

Documentary on Education Addresses Challenges
Posted on 11/14/2018
Image of Miah Massey (Clint O'Connor writing for Beacon Journal)

Getting into college is one thing. Staying in and earning your degree is something else. Less than 50 percent of U.S. students who start college ever finish, according to the new documentary “Unlikely.”

Those dropouts are saddled with debt and are falling behind in the job market.

But help is out there.

The film, shot partially in Akron, suggests that the higher education system often fails low-income students. It was directed by the wife and husband team of Jaye and Adam Fenderson. It will have a special screening at the Akron Civic Theatre at 6 p.m. Tuesday, followed by a community conversation.

'Unlikely' is set in Akron, Atlanta, Boston and Los Angeles. It follows five students who are aiming for a second chance. Akron is represented by Clarissa Santana, who is enrolled in The University of Akron's Adult Focus Program, and Miah Massey, who is working with the LeBron James Family Foundation.

James was interviewed for the film, along with former Akron Mayor Don Plusquellic, education experts and national business leaders such as former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz.

Solutions and helpful resources for struggling students are discussed.

The film's title is derived from the U (for 'Unlikely') that Jaye Fenderson found herself often writing on college applications when she worked in the admissions department at Columbia University.

She and Adam previously produced the documentary 'First Generation,' about low-income students who were the first ones in their families attempting to attend college.

The screening, a collaboration between ArtsNow and the Akron Civic Theatre, will be followed by a conversation about local education.

Moderated by Amani Abraham of WKYC, panelists will include the filmmakers and Clarissa Santana, along with David James, superintendent of Akron Public Schools, Jolene A. Lane, The University of Akron's chief diversity officer and VP of Inclusion and Equity, and Derran Wimer, executive director of the Summit Education Initiative.

The event is free, but you need to register at: https//

Image of Clarissa Santana (Clarissa Santana)
Image of Miah Massey (Miah Massey)
Image of Jaye and Adam Fenderson (Jaye and Adam Fenderson)
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