This film tells the story of the personal struggles of a first generation college student, Brenda Ocampo. The daughter of immigrants from the Mexican states of Morelos and Oaxaca, Brenda first enjoys the tight-knit Latinx community her parents fostered in Eugene, Oregon. When she takes the chance to attend a High School outside of her neighborhood in hopes of attaining a better education, Brenda finds herself feeling isolated and out of place in the majority-white, and more academically rigorous school. As a result, Brenda is admitted into a mental health treatment facility before returning to school. Through the encouragement of a PE teacher, Brenda joins a school program designed to help under-represented students make connections, achieve their academic goals, and attend college.
Sofia Vicente-Vidal is a third-year graduate student in the UO’s department of Anthropology. The Latino Roots course has given me the valuable skill of documentary filmmaking which I plan to continue playing with and exploring other stories to tell through movies. This was an especially meaningful project as I can personally relate to many of the struggles Brenda describes in her own journey as an outsider in institutions of public and higher education. I hope middle school and high school students who view this film and identify with Brenda will start to imagine their own path towards belonging and achieving their academic, creative, and professional goals.