Colorado Public Television Debuts Original Documentary, “Powered By Story,” An American Graduate Initiative Film on Courage

Denver (April 28, 2016) – On Wednesday, May 4 at 7 pm, Colorado Public Television (CPT12, channel 12 PBS) will debut its original documentary, “Powered By Story,” an American Graduate initiative film that explores the courage of at-risk youth to tell their stories and the resolve of teachers, trainers, nonprofits, businesses, artists and individuals to listen.

Over the course of the past year, CPT12’s cameras followed a group of “vulnerable” students as they attended their choice of creative workshops offered as part of their American Graduate initiative. The workshops ranged from slam poetry and music engineering, to photojournalism and digital storytelling. Along the way, CPT12 documented how young people, when given the chance to tell their story, began to see their potential, all while learning valuable skills toward college or a career. 

CPT12’s initiative involved working with community partner organizations that specialize in working with at-risk students, to offer students from Denver Public Schools’ “GED Plus” program, Denver High School Charter, and Emily Griffith’s English Language Learners (ELL) programs the opportunity to attend one of seven storytelling workshops. Together, this community of dedicated people knows that every single child matters.

The partners and workshops included:

  • StoryCenter – Digital Storytelling (video)
  • Picture Me Here – Photojournalism
  • Art From Ashes – Spoken Word Poetry
  • Minor Disturbance – Spoken Word Poetry
  • Youth on Record – Music Engineering

Beginning in March 2015, the workshops provided the opportunity to witness the process of the students unfurling their creativity. What “Powered By Story” shares is the uncovering of these young people’s potential, simply through the chance to be heard, many for the first time.

“It has been an honor and privilege to work with our partners and these extraordinary youth,” said Pam Parker, Director of Communications & Social Impact at Colorado Public Television. “Our goal was to provide an opportunity for students to tell their stories, learn skills in the process, and ultimately for us to leverage these important stories to talk about Colorado’s dropout crisis in an impactful, heartfelt way. We are so much richer, wiser and more compassionate for learning about the hurdles that young people experience as they try to make their way through school.”

Colorado’s dropout rate is a big problem. Not only for the 11,000 plus students who dropout each year in our state, but for everyone left to cover the costs of unemployment, higher incarceration rates, and unrealized earnings and potential.

This program is part of the “American Graduate – Let’s make it happen” public media initiative made possible by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Colorado Public Television is one of 33 public television and radio stations trying to be a part of the solution to our nation’s dropout crisis. Powered By Story: A Colorado Public Television documentary on Courage, is an American Graduate film about the importance of telling your story, no matter the daring it takes.