Two Dollar Bills American High School


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Two Dollar Bills

Documentary series following life at a high school in South Carolina, USA. Cheerleader Vernon has moved out and is sleeping on his best friend's floor.


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Transcript


LineFromTo

If I had to describe O-W in one word - a real diamond.

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Mind-blowing.

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-Surprising.

-Drama.

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Swag.

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-Over the top.

-It's crazy.

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Oh, my God!

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-Problems.

-Discombobulating.

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This ain't no fairy-tale high school.

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This ain't no fairy-tale story.

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Everything is real here.

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CHEERING

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It's 2016!

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At O-W, you see black people 98% of the time.

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You share pain, you share kin.

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We are lifelong friends for ever.

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-TANNOY:

-Teachers, please close all doors,

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we are in an active hall sweep.

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I'm a senior, and it's make-or-break time for me.

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I'm about to get ready to leave high school.

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Y'all going to jail, cos y'all in a stolen car.

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Come on, Rara!

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I love you, man.

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I'm so proud of you because I know that you have

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overcome obstacles to make it to this day.

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CHEERING

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-OVER RADIO:

-A weapon was used. I repeat, a weapon was used.

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This ain't the safest place to be.

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Anything crazy could happen.

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The fall testing that we got, bottom line is, we're going

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-to all be held accountable for what happens.

-Oh, yeah.

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Number one in the class.

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Yeah!

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I applied to Georgia Tech,

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which has one of the best engineering programmes in the world.

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THEY CHANT

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22 questions correct out of a total of 45.

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You're going to have to repeat the whole course.

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Yeah. I failed it. It's OK, I tried.

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-RADIO:

-Good morning, Orangeburg!

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It's a beautiful day

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and an important week ahead for Bruins fans.

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A lot of talk around town about last week's football win,

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with that amazing last-minute touchdown.

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New principal Dr Stephen Peters must be pleased

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as his year gets off to a flying start,

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but for now all eyes will rest on the varsity basketball squad

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as their first game is just one week away.

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SCHOOL BELL RINGS

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-TANNOY:

-Good morning, faculty staff and students,

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what an exciting day at Bruin Nation.

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We have a lot of work ahead of us.

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We're back to business as usual.

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We're having a great day at the Orangeburg-Wilkinson High School.

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The hard work we put in the past month is paying off.

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We've got lower suspensions, we've got better academic engagement.

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Mr Secretary, how are you?

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'What we're doing is working.

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'I use the illustration of two dollar bills,

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'two American dollar bills.'

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This dollar bill in my left hand is valued at a dollar,

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and this dollar bill in my right hand is valued at a dollar.

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But if I change the physical shape and structure and look

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of this dollar bill, by crumpling it up

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and by throwing it on the floor and stepping on it,

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what is its value now?

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It's the same.

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Why, then, do we treat children who look like this

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different from children who look like this?

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SCHOOL BELL RINGS

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In basketball, you know, some people tend to think

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we babysit all day long.

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Every time that we get to relate basketball to life, we do that.

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Missed shot.

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Rendull has always been a go-getter.

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I don't see him NOT being responsible.

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I don't see him NOT wanting to be something in life.

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Rendull, he's inspiring.

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He is a different type of cat.

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Yeah, I love him. That's my brother.

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Good!

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Like, he know a lot of people and a lot of people know him.

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I know a lot of people know me,

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but I want a lot of people to know me like they know him.

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I got it, Ra. I got it, Ra.

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Rendull's like the backbone of the team.

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He holds a lot on his shoulders.

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Rendull is popular with the ladies.

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But... OK, I don't want to get into that, I don't want to get into that.

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INDISTINCT RAPPING

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# Hey

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# Eh, I want that new car that drops off

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# So ya'll can see me hanging out the window with my...

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# Ass out!

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# With my ass out

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# I can see her looking sad... #

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INDISTINCT RAPPING

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Hey, Ra.

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HE CONTINUES TO RAP

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-Hey, come and talk to me.

-Watch out!

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I just want to nip the situation in the bud from the other night,

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just to move on from it.

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Have a seat.

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We had an incident where Rendull...

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..he expressed his anger in the wrong way.

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Actually, he had...

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At the time it looked like he got into a little scuffle

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with another guy on the court.

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I caught an attitude and let me temper take me somewhere

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I wasn't supposed to be on the court as a leader of the team.

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OK. Well, as long as you know.

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And that's the main thing. Just like a parent beating a child.

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If I'm going to beat my child,

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I want him to know why he's getting his butt tore up. OK?

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So what do you feel led to where we are right now?

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Frustration.

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-Not thinking, really, before you react.

-Yeah.

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Supposed to be the leader of the team. Period.

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You know good and well there's going to be other situations

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where you're going to be just as frustrated.

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It's more than about basketball - it's about life. You now?

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You're going to get frustrated in life later on,

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so it's important that you learn how to deal with it. You know?

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Don't try to live life without getting frustrated -

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that's not realistic.

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But you deal with it and you keep moving on, moving on, moving on.

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You've got to go get it now.

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And I guess more so now cos it's my senior year,

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the team on my back now.

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-SCHOOL BELL RINGS

-Keep movin'!

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What's up, guys?

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Look at the tie! Ooh!

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Y'all act like y'all messing with somebody

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who don't know how to dress or something. Come on!

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Hey.

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Oh!

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All I need is my gold in my mouth now, I'll be good.

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-What up, homie?

-I know you paid a lot for that.

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You don't want to know.

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But when you get there, it don't matter what it costs.

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That's what I'm trying to teach y'all.

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Man, that's a picture!

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It's just a tie.

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You need to be very serious, Vernon,

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-because the finish line is right there.

-Yes.

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All right? And I know you like to play, you like to have fun,

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but this is a time for you to be very serious about your future.

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What are your plans?

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Right now, I just have a passion for nursing.

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OK. Beautiful.

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Have you started applying to colleges?

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Well, I started applying, but I had a change of mind.

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So I'm going to New York, where my family is at.

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I'm going to a technical college up there.

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-Who's in New York?

-My aunts.

-OK.

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The reason why want to go to New York, for one,

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-because...it's New York!

-HE LAUGHS

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And then like, by me being a gay male,

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that's where the scene is at for gay males, is in New York.

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Good plan. That's a great plan.

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-Remember what I said about being serious.

-Yes.

-All right?

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I'm not telling you not to have fun and enjoy this part of your journey.

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-I can't wait. I'm so excited.

-All right.

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We'll see you. I'm going to stay on top of it.

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-Yes, sir.

-You do the same.

-All righty.

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I don't want to be here in Orangeburg,

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there's nothing in Orangeburg for me.

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I'm just so big of a person to be in this little town

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and not experiencing things and going out

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and seeing different things.

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SCHOOL BELL RINGS

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That gangster over there!

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America's biggest gangster!

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You got K-Lo!

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You got my boy Big Cesc right here!

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We got Al over here!

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I see myself around school as a cool dude.

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Down to earth, everybody rocking with me.

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That's just something my family are known for, like.

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That swag is there, yeah, all the time.

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I can't help that. That's something I was born in.

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I came out the womb with flavour.

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Rendull has a great chance of getting into college.

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-We have a guy working on his highlight tape right now.

-Mm-hm.

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When that comes out, I've got a list of colleges that I'll send that to.

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And that's the route I'm hoping to go with Rendull.

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-Right.

-Right.

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I talked to him last week - he was kind of down, you know?

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-And, erm...

-He...has a whole lot going on.

-OK.

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You know, he has a whole lot going on,

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you know, with outside situations.

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Family, you know, that baby and everything, and...

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What baby? He has a baby?

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-He's expecting...

-Getting one?

-Yeah.

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-Somebody here at the school?

-Mm-hm, mm-hm. Yes.

-Wow.

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-He is the oldest of, maybe, five brothers.

-OK.

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-So he helps out a lot at home.

-Mm-hm.

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Dad works out of town.

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I know just from talking with him in the past,

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that weighs on him more sometimes than others.

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So college for him is going to be like a vacation.

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-Oh...

-Yeah.

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When I talked with him last, he said, "Coach, I am so ready to go."

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-Ma, is the food ready?

-Yeah. Come and get your food.

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Lamar, what you want to drink?

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Get yourself a drink, go and sit down and eat your food.

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Right, I want you to go to college, and I want you to be somebody,

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and I want you to do everything that I did not get a chance to do.

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And the reason why I didn't get a chance to do it - because I had you.

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I had you. I had you at 16.

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You have a way better life than I had.

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You've got a lot of people that's out there,

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you know, rooting for you. You know?

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So do something we couldn't do, you know?

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You've just got to try to make it out.

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That's just something I've always seen since I was little.

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I know I'm going to play basketball in college,

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I know I'm going to do this, that and the third.

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That's my boy. As long as you make me proud.

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I mean, with the scholarship thing, I'm just...

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You're just in the waiting process right now.

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It's going to come. Yeah, it's going to come.

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-In a short time, you'll get it.

-As long as you keep working hard...

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-You know, hard work will always pay off.

-Always.

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I want the scholarship.

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-There's so many wrong ways you can get the money.

-Right.

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-I could have been going on the streets...

-On the streets, right.

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-..robbing.

-Right, selling drugs.

-Selling dope.

-No.

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Anything, like, to get money, because just...

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I mean, you probably have about five, six crackheads

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-walk past our house every night.

-Right.

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Cos I had so many big cousins go to jail for drugs...

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Just because they wanted to support their family.

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I just be thinking, like, if they would have went to school,

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they would have had nothing to worry about.

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You've got to do something with yourself. You've got to.

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I'm 17. I've got a daughter on the way.

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So I just want these scholarships. I just...

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I'm just trying to get these papers. That's all.

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I'm trying to do what I've got to do.

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And these books...

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I'm letting them have it out there on the court,

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so somebody...somebody's going to see me.

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Boy, you're always asking me for money.

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Why? What do you want 75 cents for?

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-Something to drink.

-Something to drink?

-Yeah.

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-Get a job.

-Thank you.

-Go get your drink. You're welcome.

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Money-wise, he's different from the other principal we had.

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Money-wise, that dude's got money out the wazoo.

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Here, that's 60. All right, and I'll get it back.

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-All right?

-All right.

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Tell her happy birthday. All right.

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It's just money, and God's blessed me with the ability to go out

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and generate and make it.

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You know, how fortunate I am to be able to share it

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with kids that are unfortunate.

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Dr Peters is a cool dude.

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He's a real cool dude. He shows love to everybody.

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If you're trying to help yourself, then he's going to help you.

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I'm going to be so broke when I leave this place.

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Seriously.

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Huh? What?

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'In the hallways, a child grabs me and says,

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' "I need to talk to you. I've got to talk to you." '

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They're telling you you have to move by when?

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-I guess... I don't know...

-Text back and ask her.

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She's not answering my phone calls. See?

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Wait a minute.

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OK. So, when she texts you back,

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you see me today and find out what is going on.

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Keep me posted, all right? OK. All right.

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So, this child works 33 hours a week.

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She just told me her mom texted her

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and told them that she needs to find a place to stay,

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because they just got put out of the public housing.

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They had an inspection, and the inspection didn't pass,

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and that she needs to try to find some place to live,

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because the mom says she's taking her little brothers

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and they're going to a shelter.

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So she told this child that she needs to try to find

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some place to stay.

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And so, are you still... What are you going to major in?

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Are you still thinking about doing nursing at any school there?

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I was thinking of doing nursing.

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I've got to get out of this godforsaken city!

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It's not that bad.

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It's not, but I've been here too long.

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Erm, there's a 65 application fee and...

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SHE LAUGHS

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-Erm, yeah, so...

-OK.

-Go ahead.

-I'm confused.

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Like, how can I have that many absences?

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-Well, if you are more than 30 minutes late, it's an absence.

-Oh!

0:16:070:16:10

So that might be what it is, for first block.

0:16:100:16:12

There's a September, October,

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you missed days in November, December...

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I see you have February 2nd, 3rd and 4th, three days back to back.

0:16:150:16:19

-Do you know where you were those days?

-Yeah.

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-I know...

-Do you have an excuse?

-No. But I know where I was.

0:16:210:16:25

Erm, this is where you are, graduation-wise.

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-That's a D average.

-OK.

0:16:280:16:30

So, you want to have at least a C average, going into any school.

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-You want to definitely work on bringing that up.

-Yeah.

0:16:350:16:38

-DR PETERS: Did you talk to your mom?

-This morning.

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-You already talked to your mom?

-Uh-huh.

0:16:420:16:44

You haven't heard anything else from her?

0:16:440:16:46

She texted me and being... It was just like...

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Let's see what she's saying.

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I just told her that I was going to stay with her.

0:16:510:16:54

So, what about your sister? Where is your sister going to stay?

0:16:540:16:57

-She's coming with me.

-OK.

0:16:570:16:59

-And you already talked to your mom...

-Yes, sir.

0:16:590:17:02

-..about both of them staying with you?

-Yes, sir.

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-And what did she say?

-She said it's fine.

-Oh.

0:17:040:17:07

Here, take that with you.

0:17:070:17:10

All right, text me and let me know if anything happens,

0:17:100:17:13

you need me to do something...

0:17:130:17:16

-All right? Keep me posted.

-OK.

0:17:160:17:18

It's very nice of you for helping the way you're helping.

0:17:180:17:21

I mean, that's what life is all about.

0:17:210:17:24

We're supposed to help each other. All right? Thank you, sweetie.

0:17:240:17:27

-Timberland, thank you.

-You're welcome.

0:17:270:17:30

Mmm. Mm-mm.

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PHONE RINGS

0:17:420:17:45

Wow... Yes, ma'am.

0:17:450:17:48

I was at Miss Johnson's today.

0:17:500:17:52

She had a look at the college in New York or whatever.

0:17:520:17:56

Guess how much the application fee is?

0:17:560:17:59

-What?

-67.

-Yeah...

0:17:590:18:01

I was like, "For a community college?" Like, "What?"

0:18:010:18:05

Yeah, that doesn't sound right.

0:18:050:18:07

But that's what it said on the website,

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so I was like, "Oh, God, no."

0:18:090:18:11

Vernon is older than me,

0:18:110:18:13

and I scold him like he's the child

0:18:130:18:16

or he's the little brother.

0:18:160:18:18

In your situation, cheerleading doesn't really matter.

0:18:190:18:22

It's basically a non factor,

0:18:220:18:25

especially when you're talking about academics.

0:18:250:18:27

-Uh-huh.

-So study, study, study.

0:18:270:18:30

-We met in middle school, actually.

-Oh, yeah, dude! Do it.

0:18:350:18:39

It wasn't until our senior year -

0:18:390:18:41

that's when we bonded like brother and sister.

0:18:410:18:45

-Here we go. I hope it's a pass.

-HE LAUGHS

0:18:450:18:49

'I love her.'

0:18:490:18:51

Like, I can't ask for anything more than a friend like her.

0:18:510:18:55

Our senior year, he ended up staying with me and my mother.

0:18:550:19:00

Home, sweet home!

0:19:040:19:06

I was homeless. But what changed my life, like,

0:19:080:19:11

what changed me from acting the way I acted...

0:19:110:19:16

Oh, Bryanna Davis.

0:19:160:19:18

All my junk, dirty clothes, clean clothes, everything...

0:19:180:19:22

Got the Gucci bag. Know what I mean?

0:19:240:19:26

My bed is right here.

0:19:260:19:28

I pull the bed out from right there...

0:19:280:19:31

and I blow it up right here.

0:19:310:19:34

Just be right here. A big old bed.

0:19:340:19:37

Pillow, flatscreen TV...

0:19:370:19:40

You've got the best TV in the house.

0:19:400:19:41

Teachers will tell you, "Oh, that's a troubled child.

0:19:430:19:47

"He won't do nothing with his life.

0:19:470:19:48

"He's just going to be another bum on the corner.

0:19:480:19:51

"He's going to be stuck in Orangeburg, or wherever."

0:19:510:19:54

But if people knew what I went through, they'd understand how...

0:19:540:20:00

the reason why I act out.

0:20:000:20:01

I want to get my PhD.

0:20:210:20:23

The higher in education you get, the more money you're likely to get.

0:20:240:20:30

Like, I'm not just going to, like, sit there

0:20:300:20:33

and look at the bills pile up.

0:20:330:20:36

I know that I have to put the work in

0:20:360:20:38

and ease the debt off my father's shoulders.

0:20:380:20:43

All right, let's hit the trail, Gail.

0:20:430:20:46

# Hi-ho, hi-ho... #

0:20:460:20:47

HE WHISTLES

0:20:470:20:49

# Hi-ho, hi-ho It's off to work we go. #

0:20:490:20:53

So, the finances are tight, but, you know,

0:20:560:20:58

you either find a way or you can find a reason to complain, you know?

0:20:580:21:03

Going to do something. I'm going to do something.

0:21:030:21:06

That didn't take long, did it?

0:21:060:21:08

-See you later.

-Yes, ma'am.

0:21:110:21:13

-Have you got napkins?

-Of course.

0:21:130:21:16

-Have a good day.

-OK.

0:21:160:21:18

I made a promise.

0:21:220:21:24

Even as, like, a kid, I made promises and stuff,

0:21:240:21:27

and I like to keep my promises.

0:21:270:21:29

Like, I'll be like, "Yeah, Daddy, we're going to have that and that."

0:21:290:21:33

So I want to do my best to keep those promises

0:21:330:21:35

because they're not just something that I know that he wants,

0:21:350:21:39

they're something that I want as well.

0:21:390:21:41

The global challenges of the 21st century

0:21:480:21:50

require innovative thinking,

0:21:500:21:52

technological ingenuity and bold action.

0:21:520:21:55

The Georgia Institute of Technology is meeting these challenges head on,

0:21:550:21:58

and making life better for people...

0:21:580:22:00

I think I have a good chance.

0:22:000:22:02

People have said I have a good chance.

0:22:020:22:05

I believe in myself.

0:22:050:22:07

All those applications you put in -

0:22:090:22:11

you're going to start getting these acceptance letters,

0:22:110:22:13

e-mails from these colleges.

0:22:130:22:15

What would be your number-one choice?

0:22:150:22:18

-Erm, Georgia Tech.

-Mm-hm.

0:22:200:22:22

And so, you did your application and you're just waiting?

0:22:220:22:25

-We're very proud of you, all right?

-Yes, sir.

-OK.

0:22:250:22:29

You can get in,

0:22:290:22:30

but if it costs too much for your family to pay for your tuition

0:22:300:22:34

or for your room and board and fees and food,

0:22:340:22:38

then you're probably not going to be able to go there.

0:22:380:22:41

I do think I deserve at least one scholarship.

0:22:420:22:45

At least one.

0:22:450:22:47

A college education in America right now

0:22:500:22:52

is more expensive than buying a house.

0:22:520:22:55

If a student gets out of college,

0:22:550:22:57

and if they have 200,000 in debt,

0:22:570:23:00

and they're only making 50,000 a year,

0:23:000:23:03

why did you go to college?

0:23:030:23:06

I'm trying to play it like, yeah, if I get the scholarship,

0:23:060:23:10

I'll go to school for free.

0:23:100:23:12

My mom and dad won't have to worry so much about me in school.

0:23:120:23:16

We can just get them out of here and get them home safely today.

0:23:230:23:27

Why do y'all cuss so much, man? I'm telling you.

0:23:280:23:32

-Can I have a dollar?

-I don't... I have a dollar.

0:23:320:23:35

Mmm. I heard you got some news, man. You ain't shared it with me.

0:23:350:23:40

-What?

-About your girl.

-Oh, yeah, my little...

0:23:400:23:43

-I didn't know that.

-You didn't?

-No.

-I thought you knew that.

0:23:430:23:45

-No, I didn't know that.

-Yeah, got it...

0:23:450:23:47

That's your girlfriend from a while, though, right?

0:23:470:23:50

-You've been with her...

-That's correct.

0:23:500:23:52

-So, you OK? I mean, you...

-Mm-hm.

0:23:520:23:53

-That'll change your life, right there.

-Mm-hm.

0:23:530:23:56

-Slow me down it a little bit.

-Yeah, slow you down a whole lot.

0:23:560:23:59

Is she still here in school, or she at home?

0:23:590:24:01

-She's at home.

-All right, I'm here for you.

0:24:010:24:04

All right? The good and the bad.

0:24:040:24:06

-We're good.

-All right.

0:24:060:24:08

-All right, guys.

-All right, Doc.

0:24:080:24:11

Oh!

0:24:310:24:33

This house...

0:24:330:24:35

have...everything...

0:24:350:24:39

..that played in...

0:24:400:24:43

of me growing up, being punished, being taught lessons.

0:24:430:24:48

Arguments turning into fistfights,

0:24:480:24:50

turning into the police coming.

0:24:500:24:52

Like, just the whole kitchen on fire and everything.

0:24:540:24:57

Like, this has so many...

0:24:570:24:59

The biggest water fight in Orangeburg.

0:24:590:25:03

And then when the tub broken, we had to go warm water up in the pot,

0:25:030:25:08

and then we had, like, a little container that we put the water in.

0:25:080:25:14

This right here was my mom's room.

0:25:140:25:18

Can you imagine a mother and three kids sleeping in one bed?

0:25:200:25:26

This has been like this ever since I can remember.

0:25:260:25:30

You see that hole up there on that wall?

0:25:320:25:35

I punched the wall, cos I told my mom that I was gay.

0:25:350:25:39

And my boyfriend at the time, he texted me,

0:25:390:25:42

and then my mom tried to text him, and play as me,

0:25:420:25:45

and then he called.

0:25:450:25:47

He was like, "Oh, hey, baby." My mom was like, "Baby?!"

0:25:470:25:50

And she got all extra for no reason.

0:25:500:25:53

Me and my mom, we don't speak as much as we should,

0:25:550:26:01

as a mother and a son.

0:26:010:26:03

We didn't just break down and just like,

0:26:030:26:05

"Don't talk to me and I won't talk to you."

0:26:050:26:08

We just slowly distanced ourselves from each other.

0:26:080:26:10

I've been getting into my feelings a lot about certain things,

0:26:110:26:14

but I have to think, like,

0:26:140:26:16

"What are you getting into your feelings for, Vernon?"

0:26:160:26:19

Like, don't let this little incident stop you

0:26:190:26:22

from where you're going to go in life.

0:26:220:26:24

I know I've got a daughter on the way.

0:26:340:26:36

I know if I go to college,

0:26:360:26:39

I don't want, like, her to want for nothing.

0:26:390:26:42

I'm still in the process of getting recruited.

0:26:420:26:44

The scholarship, it's a lot... Not only for us but for our parents.

0:26:440:26:48

Like, cos if I don't get no scholarship,

0:26:480:26:51

my parents, they're going to have to pay for college,

0:26:510:26:54

your parents, they're going to have to pay for college.

0:26:540:26:57

And just, like, help us with the baby until we get on our feet.

0:26:570:27:00

It's just a lot.

0:27:000:27:03

Well, I think he will probably get a scholarship.

0:27:030:27:06

-RADIO:

-It's almost game time in the Bruins Den,

0:27:130:27:16

with just one day to go before the big local rivalry basketball game.

0:27:160:27:20

A lot is on the line for this team,

0:27:200:27:22

but especially for captain Rendull Middleton.

0:27:220:27:26

-What's up, Kev?

-Can I borrow 20 until Friday?

-What?

0:27:300:27:33

-You're hurting me, man.

-I'll give it back to you Friday.

0:27:330:27:37

-Thank you, Dr Peters. I'll give it back to you Friday.

-You're so sweet.

0:27:380:27:42

It's now 9.45, and I've issued 260 cash today.

0:27:420:27:48

INDISTINCT RAPPING

0:27:480:27:52

Ah!

0:27:560:27:57

Oh, wait!

0:28:000:28:02

What cheer are you doing tomorrow? Let him see if it's agreeable.

0:28:020:28:06

You're going to do the two cheers. Go from the beginning to the end.

0:28:060:28:10

He says good to go, we out.

0:28:100:28:11

I know. Her mother's going to come to the house and get it.

0:28:110:28:15

HE LAUGHS

0:28:200:28:22

I'll call my mom and see if she wants to go.

0:28:230:28:26

Do you think she's going to come?

0:28:260:28:28

I know he maybe wishes that he could have

0:28:310:28:35

a better relationship with his mom.

0:28:350:28:38

I think he finds it hard, but he pushes it aside sometimes.

0:28:380:28:42

She not going to pick up!

0:28:440:28:46

-'Hello?'

-Oh, Lord. Hello.

0:28:480:28:50

-'Hello.'

-Erm, can you make it to the game?

0:28:500:28:52

-Can you make it...?

-SHE SPEAKS OVER HIM

0:28:520:28:54

'What time's the game going to start?'

0:28:540:28:56

At six, if I'm not mistaken. Six o'clock.

0:28:560:29:00

Yeah, are you coming? Do you want to come? Come and see.

0:29:000:29:03

-Come and see your son.

-'And see?'

-Yeah.

0:29:030:29:05

'The question is, what do the parents have to...

0:29:050:29:09

-'Do they have to be dressed up or what?'

-No. Not really.

0:29:090:29:12

I feel as though, deep down inside, Vernon misses his mom.

0:29:120:29:17

He wants comfort from her.

0:29:170:29:20

Hello.

0:29:240:29:25

I'm good. How are you?

0:29:270:29:28

What's the matter?

0:29:300:29:32

Yeah, that's really bad.

0:29:320:29:34

I...I just helped a lady this morning.

0:29:340:29:36

We had to come up with 300 to give her,

0:29:360:29:38

and I gave every penny I had.

0:29:380:29:40

But listen, I will see her in the morning

0:29:400:29:42

if I can help in any way. OK?

0:29:420:29:45

All right.

0:29:450:29:47

OK. I will. Take care. Bye-bye.

0:29:480:29:50

Parents calling me to help turn their lights back on.

0:29:540:29:57

I mean, how did we get to this point?

0:29:570:30:00

I mean, how do we go from...

0:30:000:30:02

"..Can I get a bag of chips?"

0:30:030:30:06

to finding a place to live

0:30:060:30:08

and helping them get money that's going to their house

0:30:080:30:11

to turn their lights back on?

0:30:110:30:13

I mean, at some point in time,

0:30:130:30:16

I have to draw the line and say I can't help.

0:30:160:30:19

When it's... I can't help.

0:30:190:30:22

'Deputies are searching for a man

0:30:330:30:34

'they say is behind a deadly shooting.

0:30:340:30:37

'Our Billie Jean Shaw was at the scene today.'

0:30:370:30:40

'Around two o'clock, investigators discovered his body

0:30:400:30:43

'in his St Anne Street home.

0:30:430:30:45

'They say he sustained multiple gunshot wounds to his upper body.'

0:30:450:30:50

One of the seniors, her boyfriend, who was also the father of her baby,

0:30:540:30:59

shot the guy and killed him.

0:30:590:31:02

And the guy that got killed is the cousin of some of our kids.

0:31:040:31:10

They told us he was in the house. He walked in,

0:31:110:31:13

-and that's when he pulled out...

-And the baby was in there?

0:31:130:31:15

Mm-hm. And he pulled out the gun...

0:31:150:31:17

..and shot the boy. I just don't know what happened.

0:31:190:31:22

Why? What made him pull out the gun and shoot him?

0:31:220:31:25

Some... I don't know if it's gang-related.

0:31:250:31:28

I don't know what's going on.

0:31:280:31:30

-Hmm...

-So the body is still...

-Mm-hm.

0:31:320:31:35

That baby, that's a newborn.

0:31:370:31:39

So what changes this, y'all? What changes this?

0:31:390:31:42

What stops this kind of stuff, though?

0:31:420:31:44

-I don't know.

-How do you stop this from happening?

0:31:440:31:48

I...I don't know.

0:31:480:31:50

-So, where are you going when you leave school?

-St Anne's.

0:31:580:32:01

Do you usually ride the bus home? Where in St Anne's?

0:32:010:32:04

-Sharon Street.

-Where it happened?

0:32:040:32:07

Are you sure you want go over there?

0:32:070:32:09

Y'all need to be mindful of

0:32:140:32:16

what y'all do when you leave school today.

0:32:160:32:18

-All right.

-OK.

-Seriously.

0:32:180:32:21

Schools don't have procedures for things like, you know, this,

0:32:270:32:31

other than making sure that the counsellors are ready.

0:32:310:32:35

If I'm lost, imagine how they feel.

0:32:360:32:38

You know, I'm lost for words right now

0:32:380:32:40

because I can't even comprehend what's going on, so...

0:32:400:32:44

If you grow up in the apartment's right here, next to O-W,

0:33:100:33:14

then of course you're going to see fighting,

0:33:140:33:16

you're going to see violence, you're going to see drug dealing.

0:33:160:33:20

There's nothing to do. It's easy to get in trouble.

0:33:220:33:26

Everybody's doing the same thing.

0:33:260:33:28

Part of being in the streets, man,

0:33:300:33:31

it's kind of like every man for themselves, you know?

0:33:310:33:33

Not being able to trust a lot of people.

0:33:330:33:36

Trusting nobody, you know what I mean?

0:33:360:33:39

It's a hood everywhere. You can't just put out the blame.

0:33:390:33:43

I mean, it does affect people.

0:33:440:33:46

But also, it's about how much do you not

0:33:470:33:50

want to be the product of your environment.

0:33:500:33:53

Everything that you worked for, this is what it's all about tonight.

0:34:180:34:22

Right? So, you know, I don't want you to get burned out,

0:34:220:34:26

but you've got a million reasons to be ready for this game.

0:34:260:34:29

I'm talking about, when you're tired,

0:34:290:34:31

you've got to pull energy from your toes!

0:34:310:34:34

Find energy from somewhere!

0:34:340:34:36

Come about 7.30.

0:34:360:34:39

-Game time.

-Oh, yeah, game time.

0:34:390:34:41

Mic check, mic check, let's get it rocking.

0:34:430:34:46

What up, O-W?

0:34:460:34:48

Are we going to turn it up a little bit?

0:34:480:34:50

It's equally important that we celebrate superstars...

0:34:570:35:03

..who academically prove themselves in our classroom

0:35:040:35:08

each and every day,

0:35:080:35:09

so tonight, we've decided, at an athletic event,

0:35:090:35:13

to celebrate those students who have straight A's,

0:35:130:35:16

who have made my principal's list.

0:35:160:35:18

So join me in celebrating their achievements academically

0:35:180:35:22

here tonight, please.

0:35:220:35:24

Jalena Jones.

0:35:240:35:25

CHEERS AND APPLAUSE

0:35:250:35:28

As we usually don't get that much recognition...

0:35:360:35:40

..finally we got a little bit of shine and it was nice.

0:35:410:35:44

Maybe Vernon's mom would come, or maybe she wouldn't.

0:35:520:35:57

I tried to keep the situation positive

0:35:570:35:59

because I knew if I talked negatively,

0:35:590:36:02

he probably would've thought, "Oh, maybe she wouldn't come,"

0:36:020:36:06

or something like that.

0:36:060:36:08

I was excited and nervous at the same time

0:36:080:36:11

cos I didn't want to mess up anything.

0:36:110:36:13

And then...

0:36:160:36:17

..she was there!

0:36:200:36:22

THEY CHANT

0:36:260:36:29

It was a really big moment for me,

0:36:310:36:33

AND she brought my sister and my little brother.

0:36:330:36:36

-ANNOUNCER:

-Vernon.

0:36:520:36:53

CHEERS AND APPLAUSE

0:36:530:36:56

This is a very big year for Vernon.

0:36:590:37:01

This is a big year for both of us.

0:37:010:37:04

Well, all the seniors, basically.

0:37:040:37:06

Come on, let me tell you something. As long as we play together,

0:37:090:37:12

as long as we believe in each other, we can't be beat.

0:37:120:37:15

We can't be beat.

0:37:150:37:17

That means we've got to stand behind each other.

0:37:170:37:19

That means we've got to pick each other up when you make a mistake

0:37:190:37:22

and we've got to be like that,

0:37:220:37:23

we've got to be a close-knit family, fellas.

0:37:230:37:25

And I'm telling you like this -

0:37:250:37:27

a team that goes out there and that plays together

0:37:270:37:29

and that executes is going to win this game.

0:37:290:37:32

-You got me? ALL:

-Yes, sir.

-Let us pray.

0:37:320:37:34

-ALL:

-Our father which art in heaven Hallowed be thy name

0:37:340:37:37

Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on Earth as it is in heaven.

0:37:370:37:40

Let's go! Let's go! Team on three, team on three.

0:37:400:37:43

-One, two, three...

-Team!

0:37:430:37:45

-COMMENTATOR:

-'Great start so far tonight for the Bruins

0:37:450:37:47

'as they have a ten-point lead.

0:37:470:37:49

'Captain Rendull Middleton has got the team fired up for this game.

0:37:490:37:53

-'Bruins now on offence.'

-Come on, Rara!

0:37:530:37:56

'Middleton with the layup.

0:37:560:37:58

'It is good!'

0:37:580:37:59

CHEERING

0:37:590:38:01

'Bruins back with the ball again. Middleton with the pass.

0:38:050:38:08

'Goes up, layup. Good again!

0:38:100:38:12

'And the Bruins are hot tonight. They are really rocking this game.'

0:38:140:38:19

We've got to be the top dogs in the fight.

0:38:190:38:21

We're playing as one, hit or miss, OK?

0:38:210:38:23

-Team. One, two, three...

-Team!

0:38:230:38:25

'Bruins now out on defence.

0:38:250:38:27

'They've got to hold on to this lead.

0:38:290:38:31

'Turnover!

0:38:310:38:33

'Quickstep!

0:38:330:38:34

'Goes for three...

0:38:370:38:38

'Dang, that's good!'

0:38:380:38:41

THEY CHANT

0:38:410:38:43

'That's another three-ball for the Bruins.

0:38:430:38:45

'I've got to say, folks, right now, this team looks unmatched.'

0:38:450:38:49

BUZZER

0:38:510:38:53

'There's the buzzer. It's half-time.'

0:38:530:38:55

We're where we want to be, because you know what?

0:38:570:39:00

All we do is talk about life and getting over challenges

0:39:000:39:03

and...and just one thing after another.

0:39:030:39:05

Let's go out there right now, seal the deal in the fourth quarter.

0:39:050:39:08

-If you with me, put your hand here.

-Yeah!

0:39:080:39:10

-Let's go, team on three. One, two, three...

-Team!

-Let's go.

0:39:100:39:13

'I'm not sure what's going on with the Bruins right now,

0:39:130:39:16

'here in the second half.

0:39:160:39:17

'They're starting to give away points like it's candy.'

0:39:170:39:20

Get that man on defence! Middle, middle, middle!

0:39:200:39:23

He walked! He walked it!

0:39:230:39:25

'40 seconds to go.

0:39:330:39:34

'The score is tied at 61 apiece

0:39:350:39:38

'and the Bruins have given away a free throw.

0:39:380:39:40

'Could that be the nail in the coffin for O-W?

0:39:420:39:45

'Bruins with a quick comeback.

0:39:450:39:47

'He puts it up...

0:39:480:39:50

'He scores!

0:39:500:39:51

'The Bruins are back in the game! They have regained the lead!

0:39:510:39:55

'20, 19, 18...

0:39:560:39:59

'Hold up!

0:39:590:40:00

'It's on the rim!'

0:40:020:40:03

BUZZER

0:40:040:40:07

'That is the buzzer and the Bruins lose out by one.

0:40:070:40:11

'A heart-breaking loss for O-W.

0:40:110:40:15

'Man, that one has to sting.'

0:40:150:40:17

Well...

0:40:260:40:27

Damn...

0:40:390:40:40

Damn.

0:40:400:40:42

Go, Rara! Go, Rara! You're still our champ!

0:40:560:41:00

They brought all my people down.

0:41:000:41:02

They're shouting me.

0:41:020:41:04

Yeah, I'm proud of him.

0:41:080:41:10

I got to get him something he had before.

0:41:100:41:12

Something, anything.

0:41:120:41:14

You feel good for something positive,

0:41:140:41:17

instead of them trying to come and get me out the jailhouse,

0:41:170:41:19

or something like that, you know.

0:41:190:41:21

Rendull Middleton, this is the champ right now!

0:41:210:41:24

Hey! The champ is here!

0:41:240:41:27

There's the champ right here now.

0:41:270:41:29

Hey! The other team...

0:41:290:41:31

The other team coach came to say you're an awesome player, Rara.

0:41:310:41:34

Said you going somewhere, boy.

0:41:340:41:36

Hey, that's my baby!

0:41:360:41:39

You're going somewhere...and move me to California or something.

0:41:390:41:43

I hope so!

0:41:430:41:45

-CHANTING:

-Go, Rara! Go, Rara!

0:41:450:41:48

I'm praying for something good, something's got to happen.

0:41:530:41:58

It's getting real. 2016 is real for me.

0:41:580:42:01

I don't know about anybody else - it's real for me.

0:42:010:42:04

I'm actually really excited for her.

0:42:100:42:12

I know she's going to get into Georgia Tech,

0:42:120:42:15

so I don't know why she's even worried about it.

0:42:150:42:18

-Hey!

-Hey, girl!

0:42:180:42:20

-Hey!

-How are you doing?

0:42:200:42:22

Are you ready for the big reveal?

0:42:300:42:33

I just want to get it over with.

0:42:330:42:35

I'm very nervous.

0:42:350:42:36

-No.

-It's OK.

0:42:460:42:48

Hmm...

0:42:540:42:56

I'm sorry.

0:43:040:43:05

-Daddy.

-What happened?

-I didn't get into Georgia Tech.

0:43:070:43:11

All right, it's pretty tough to get into.

0:43:110:43:14

And sometimes they don't always pick the best students.

0:43:140:43:19

Yeah, I guess.

0:43:190:43:21

Angela, bye!

0:43:210:43:23

I don't like to fail at anything.

0:43:280:43:31

I don't... Failure is not a good feeling.

0:43:330:43:36

My birth mother passed away when I was in second grade...

0:43:410:43:45

..and...she is one of the people that helped me

0:43:470:43:52

to become the type of person I am today

0:43:520:43:56

and I knew that she would just want me to succeed,

0:43:560:44:00

so that's why I want to succeed, to make her proud.

0:44:000:44:03

I know...she wouldn't be disappointed

0:44:110:44:14

since I didn't get accepted into Georgia Tech.

0:44:140:44:17

I know she would want me to keep trying for other schools.

0:44:180:44:22

So that's...that's what I'm going to do.

0:44:220:44:26

I think we're at a point right now where you have to make a decision.

0:44:450:44:50

Go out there, compete hard!

0:44:520:44:54

There's no room for mistakes in players at all.

0:44:540:44:58

I've invited probably, like, 40, maybe 50.

0:45:000:45:03

-I told him, ma'am...

-That's her brother-in-law.

0:45:030:45:06

..if he didn't quit smoking that weed around here,

0:45:060:45:08

I would kill him and I'm telling you right now,

0:45:080:45:11

-I've got shit on my side.

-All right...

-That is wrong!

-Chill out!

0:45:110:45:15

Rendull, captain of the basketball team, is handsome, charismatic and popular. He seems to have the world at his feet, but a revelation about his personal life throws his plans for the future into disarray. Cheerleader Vernon has moved out of his family home and is sleeping on his best friend's floor. With a crucial basketball game coming up, can he convince his estranged mother to come to see him perform with the cheerleading squad? Meanwhile, star pupil Jalena finds out whether she has been accepted into her dream college, and Dr Peters tries to rehouse a homeless student.