Bronx Princess

PBS Premiere: Sept. 22, 2009Check the broadcast schedule »

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Helping Students Prepare for College

Bronx Princess follows headstrong 17-year-old Rocky's journey as she leaves behind her mother in New York City to visit her father, a chief in Ghana, West Africa. Filmed during Rocky's tumultuous summer between high school and college, the film tells her coming-of-age story.

By showing this teenager's struggle to forge an identity independent of her parents and yet rooted in her African heritage, Bronx Princess raises universal questions about culture and immigration, coming of age, parent-child relationships and visions of success. Here are some steps you can take to help the high school and college students — and their parents — in your community:

Host a screening of Bronx Princess at a college night for high school juniors and seniors and/or for high school students whose parents are immigrants. Facilitate a discussion of what they learned about their own families by viewing the film.

Host a college fair in your community. Invite high school counselors, speakers from local college admissions offices and, if possible, first-generation college attendees. When drawing up a list of participants to invite, be sure to include representatives who understand the specific needs of your community members.

If your local library doesn't provide free college readiness materials, encourage it to do so.

Facilitate conversations with graduating high school seniors and their parents about their attitudes regarding responsibility, respect and independence. What questions or concerns do parents have about their children attending college or institutions of higher education? What do they think graduating seniors need to know before they leave home?

Convene a teach-in on Ghana and West African immigrants. Create a forum for immigrants from Ghana (and other West African countries) and their children to tell their stories.

Many communities offer parenting classes for new parents or parents of young children. Investigate whether or not your community offers parenting classes for parents of teenagers. If so, offer the organizations that run such classes copies of the film to use as a resource. If not, join with appropriate agencies, schools and community groups to create such a class.

Build partnerships with immigrant communities with roots in Ghana or elsewhere in West Africa.

Create a multigenerational community event at which participants share coming of age stories.