Two dozen eighth-graders will share their journey through high school by starring in a five-year video series.
Tucson Unified School District launched a multimedia project to document students from the Class of 2020 to show viewers how they grow and change throughout the years.
The project was created to follow students who have specific goals for college and their future from multicultural backgrounds.
The district chose students who may not have the same opportunities as other, more privileged students but who still work hard to achieve their goals.
The district chose video as its medium for the project because communication is heading in a digital direction, said Stefanie Boe, TUSD spokeswoman. “People connect better with video,” she said.
The beginning of the video series will show each student’s reaction about entering high school and what they hope to accomplish there. That also includes extracurricular activities.
“TUSD is not only encompassing the academic side of the students but also their social side and how they continue to evolve into their own person,” said Brent Pantaleo, TUSD’s multimedia producer.
Pantaleo will interview each student at least twice a year, updating viewers on their lives.
Octavius Thomas and Brianna Anderson are two students participating in the video series from Tucson High School. The students, both of whom attended Robins Elementary School, said their mothers encouraged them to be a part of the project.
“After these five years, I want my viewers to know what kind of family I came from,” said Thomas, who hopes to get a football scholarship to the University of Arizona.
Anderson, who plays cello in the orchestra, wants to pursue a career in music and go to college out of state. She said she hopes that her dedication to playing the cello will be shown in the video series.
The project’s team also wants to show the students’ lives after they graduate . It hopes to partner with the UA, other colleges or the workforce to continue telling their stories.
Pantaleo, the producer, plans to advertise the videos through Twitter, Instagram and the district’s Facebook page. He plans to release pieces of the videos throughout the five years and at the end, there will be a comprehensive package.
The videos will show how both the students and the district change. Students will be able to comment on how they think the district should improve .