Madison Heights

These videos raise issues common to at-risk families, prompting important discussions facing families.
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1. The Ties That Bind

Follows the Garcia family as it attempts to recover from the devastating loss of its eldest son. The impact is greatest on younger brother Ricky, who had been an excellent student, but recently has done poorly in school. Meanwhile, Ricky's teacher, David Harper, is struggling with his own problems.

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2. Running Scared

Deals with the impact of a family's decision not to vaccinate their child on a community and on a friendship. Amy Tran, an Asian-American, has been friends since high school with Charlene Miller. But in light of her brother's severe reaction to a pertussis vaccine years earlier, Amy decides not to have her own son vaccinated when he and Charlene's son start kindergarten.

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3. A Day in the Life

Follows an unemployed African-American woman named Roberta through a long day of frustration and despair. Despite her best efforts, Roberta's attempts to find work lead nowhere. As she struggles through the day, Roberta endures a variety of trying and de-humanizing experiences.

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4. Homeward Bound

The story of a father and his adult son who attempt to come to terms with each other after several years of estrangement. When Stan Radzinski has a stroke, his son Tom, feels he has no choice but to leave his own wife and son behind, and fly across the country to care for his ailing father.

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5. Street Smart

Looks at the impact of gang life on two brothers, Omar and Ramon Vasquez. As a result of a crime committed during his brief affiliation with a gang, twelve year old Omar is sentenced to six years in a juvenile detention facility. When he is finally released, Omar tries to get his life back on track, but faces a variety of serious obstacles that stand in his way.

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6. Miracle Workers - Part I

When Maria is brought to the hospital by her non-English speaking Hispanic parents, the child is in serious need of medical attention. Her parents resist, however, because they are more comfortable having her treated by a "curandero," or spiritual healer.

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7. Miracle Workers - Part II

When Maria's family refuses to give her the medication Dr. Hansen has prescribed, he calls the Department of Child Protective Services, which removes the child from her family's home. Eventually a compromise is reached, but it proves to be short- lived, as Maria's family leaves the area suddenly without a word to anyone.

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8. God Bless The Child

The story of two desperate characters whose lives intersect. Kevin McCauley is a ten year old boy who lives with his mother and her abusive boyfriend, and struggles in school with a learning disability. Mr. Jenkins is the school janitor who, despite his own battle with growing dementia, teaches Kevin to read.

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9. Echoes

Traces the efforts of Susan Gennaro, a woman who has recently been released from prison after six and a half years of incarceration, as she attempts to re-build a relationship with her ten year old daughter, Katie.

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10. Small World

Eleven-year-old Maria Betancourt is trying to fit in at school, after she and her family have recently moved to Madison Heights. She is so desperate not to appear "different" from other students that she doesn't let on about her family's South American origins.

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