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Published on May 12, 2009
Short film about an undocumented student at UCLA and the DREAM Act. Originally done through the Armed with a Camera fellowship through Visual Communications in Little Tokyo, LA. May 2007.
An update on Stephanie (2009): "My life goes on today much like it does in 'Lost and Found'; if anything, it is remarkable in how unchanging it is -- the surreal byproduct of being undocumented. I'm still in the middle of my senior year at UCLA as a Creative Writing major (although this is now my seventh year of college), since I'm eternally forced into long financial hiatuses from school. I still spend half my life on public transportation, hours away from campus; I do odd jobs to survive, from proofreading to housecleaning; I create weird makeshift bedrooms out of friends' dining room floors. And after I finally graduate, I still have no way of knowing what "graduation" will mean for someone like me.
But these past few years of volunteering and sharing my story (with everyone from the mainstream media to community leaders to scared high schools students) have taught me that my one little story represents thousands of untold stories. My life is mighty strange -- strange because one believes it's an experience we wouldn't willingly create for our children -- and yet it is far from unique. I am one among many.
When I was a kid, I never understood why my family was always struggling, broke, moving, or what that secretly meant; I believed, in my own way, that I was just another American kid. Now I am old enough to understand that I was right. I hope the DREAM Act will help me reclaim my identity and my future."