SelectED is a revealing look into the lives of students who put it all on the line to be selected, proving that a free education is never without a cost.
10,000 students a year apply to Whitney Young High School for 350 seats.
Entrance is merit based and not reliant on finances or social connections.
Whitney Young High School is one of the most culturally and racially diverse schools in the nation.
SelectED examines the truths and challenges of public urban education as seen through the lives of high school students at Whitney Young High School. This Chicago public school began as a dream to create a fully integrated school in a racially divided city, and within a riot ravaged neighborhood in the 1970s. Through interwoven stories, SelectED explores the leadership, triumphs, and losses in one of the most culturally and economically diverse schools in the country that has stood the test of time.
“Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought I would welcome the opportunity to go back to High School, much less find it an enjoyable experience! For an entire year, Principal Joyce Kenner gave me unprecedented access to teachers, faculty, students and staff of one of Chicago’s most racially and ethnically diverse public High Schools. This film is a testament to the vision and dreams of Whitney M. Young Magnet High School’s founding teachers and administrators. It’s a story of one of the most successful public High Schools in the nation, it’s incredible students and how a culture of excellence and high expectations can work to create change and hope in a public education system that is severely broken.” ~ Director Kayla McCormick
SelectED also looks at the impact of being educated in a true melting pot environment and the effect it has on education, acceptance, tolerance and a worldview. The dynamic characters illustrate what is possible when great leadership, diverse cultures, and extraordinary minds come together. These stories include a controversial, inspiring, and demanding principal who has guided Whitney Young for 19 years. Through her nurturing and engaging leadership, amidst a backdrop of the largest number of school closings in U.S. history, Whitney Young became one of the most coveted schools in the nation.
SelectED highlights the benefits, and unintended consequences, of select schools and society’s constant struggle with urban education. The limited access to quality public education creates unrelenting pressure on students from a very young age. Their hopes and dreams of a promising future ride on being selected.
The film is produced by CoHootz Films in association with New Chapter Entertainment and is Directed by Kayla McCormick. Kayla brings almost 20 years of documentary experience. Kayla, a Chicago native, has been a Producer for “The Oprah Winfrey Show”, “Oprah’s Next Chapter” and “The Barbara Walters Specials”, as well as numerous productions for PBS, The Weather Channel, The History Channel and National Geographic Channel and A&E Network.
Watch the Trailer: https://vimeo.com/