Below is an inspiring 13-minute documentary entitled From the Bronx to Yale. It’s about a group of high school students and their teachers from Democracy Prep school in the South Bronx, New York. They compete in a variety of speech contests at the local, district, state and national levels.
The students are not rich and many come from difficult backgrounds. For them, “Speech” offers both a constructive, creative forum in which to focus their energies and talents, and a chance to win scholarships that will allow them to attend university. It’s an inspiring film that is well worth watching.
For many of these students, the experience is life-changing. Yet through it all, they remain incredibly grounded. The wisdom of precocious 14-year-old Emmanuel De La Rosa at 9:35 of the film is particularly striking:
I don’t want to just do it to try to win something. I want to do it to make people laugh and connect with the audience.
Emmanuel gets it. He understands that every speech is about the audience. Everything else—awards, accolades—is secondary.
From the Bronx to Yale is an inspiring tale of what people can accomplish even in difficult circumstances. You can watch the entire documentary below.