October 19th, 2009

There's No Place Like Home

They say home is what you make it, but for all the residents of New Orleans who were forced to evacuate and leave their homes during Hurricane Katrina, the idea of home took on new meaning. Hundreds of thousands of families and whole communities were displaced–some went to live with family members elsewhere, some were re-located to different counties or states, kids were enrolled in new schools, and some families were left to fend for themselves.

Hurricane Katrina, New Olreans. Photo by Radhika Chalasani/Getty ImagesFor the displaced, the idea of “home” was put on hold and many New Orleans residents looked forward to returning to their old neighborhoods despite what had happened. But the reality was frightening: a year after Hurricane Katrina, homes were still boarded up, many schools weren’t open, job prospects were slim, and city infrastructure was still rebuilding.

For those who insisted on coming home, the work was just beginning.

So the Wind Won’t Blow It All Away” is a short documentary that follows three teenagers as they trek back to New Orleans two years after Katrina and their persistence to build their new lives in a familiar place. The film, all of nine minutes long, gives viewers a glimpse into their struggle to return to New Orleans without their families, resume high school and try to thrive. Their stories are heartbreaking, touching and above all else, tenacious. Watch it online here.

Watching it, I was reminded of the many young men and women we’ve encountered in our series following the Recovery School District in New Orleans. The stories we’ve followed involve students and educators trying to succeed in a stricken school district, young people without any parental support and families simply trying to survive a devastating reality. In episode 3, we met Antoine Duplessis and Brittne Jackson, two young people with similar stories, but different trajectories.

Watch episode 3 below or follow the entire series here.

So the Wind Won’t Blow It All Away” POV film [Official Website]

Related Program: Paul Vallas & New Orleans Schools

Photo Credit: Radhika Chalasani/Getty Images

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