WHO CARES ABOUT KELSEY? (75 min., 2011)
This remarkable documentary explores the journey of emotionally-challenged high school student Kelsey, helped by a pioneering innovative educational program. Discussion: Kelsey Carroll; filmmaker Dan Habib (University of New Hampshire); Kristi Koenig (Steinhardt, NYU); Lynne McVeigh (Tisch, NYU).
Event is free and open to the public, but seating is limited.
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Who Cares About Kelsey? features high school student Kelsey Carroll. When Kelsey entered high school, she was a more likely candidate for the juvenile justice system than graduation. Diagnosed with ADHD and carrying the emotional scars of homelessness and substance abuse, as well as the actual scars of repeated self-mutilation, Kelsey was volatile, disruptive and, by her own admission, “not a nice person” to be around. As a freshman at Somersworth (NH) High School, she didn’t earn a single academic credit, but she did get suspended for dealing drugs.
During Kelsey’s sophomore year, a new school leadership team implemented Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS), a youth-directed planning process called RENEW and other reforms to improve the school’s culture and reduce the dropout rate. This schoolwide overhaul gave Kelsey a chance at a different outcome.
Who Cares About Kelsey? follows Kelsey through the ups and downs of her senior year. As the film delves into Kelsey’s life, we watch her navigate the halls and classrooms of her school and the fraught terrain of family and romantic relationships. The film will make viewers reconsider the “problem kids” in their own high schools and spark new conversations about an education revolution that’s about empowering–not overpowering–our most emotionally and behaviorally challenged youth.
Co-sponsors: NYU Council for the Study of Disability; Media, Culture, and Communication.