Three Students Take Their Education to the Next Level in Roadtrip Nation's New Documentary 'One Step Closer'

Debuting Online and on Public Television, 'One Step Closer' Features Leaders Whose Paths to Success Started With Community College

04/06/18

By ABC News 7

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Costa Mesa, Calif., (April 6, 2018) – The recent recipient of American Public Television's Programming Excellence Award for 2017, career exploration company Roadtrip Nation is excited to announce the premiere of its newest one-hour documentary special, "One Step Closer." Presented by KQED, "One Step Closer" will air on public television stations nationally starting on April 6, and will be available to watch online on at onestepcloserfilm.com.

Made possible with the support of ECMC Foundation, "One Step Closer" explores the critical role that community colleges play for students across the country, whether they are at the beginning of their educational journey or coming into college with various life and work experiences. Nearly half of all students who completed a degree at a four year institution in 2013-14 began their educational journey—or found supplemental help along the way—at a community college. Many students are looking for alternatives to the traditional four-year degree path due to financial considerations, the need to work full-time or support a family while attending school, or the need to learn new skills in order to advance their ongoing careers.

The film follows three of these students, Becca, Armand, and Melanie—each in a different stage of their journey through community college—as they travel 3,300 miles across the country in Roadtrip Nation's green RV, in search of inspiration from leaders and professionals who built rewarding careers on the foundation of a community college education.

Along the way, the road-trippers explore themes like fighting through fear, leaving your comfort zone, and dealing with grief, all guided by the stories of the people they meet, and viewed through the lens of their shared community college experiences.

"For over 15 years, Roadtrip Nation's founding philosophy has been to empower people to find fulfillment by defining their own roads in life," said Mike Marriner, co-founder of Roadtrip Nation. "That's why we were pleased to have ECMC Foundation's support on this documentary, which highlights the road to and through a community college education, and shows how it can be a viable option to set you up for success in just about every field imaginable."

Many of the leaders featured in the film chose to continue their education past community college—like Jim Lehrer, prominent journalist and former anchor of "PBS Newshour"—while others stepped straight out of community college and into the workplace—like Deesha Dyer, activist and former White House Social Secretary for the Obama administration. But no matter which road they took, it's clear that for each of the interviewees, community college played a pivotal role in helping them build a life of purpose.

"All of us at ECMC Foundation recognize the far-reaching impact of how a postsecondary education can help students achieve their personal and professional goals," said Peter J. Taylor, president of ECMC Foundation. "We were pleased to fuel this Roadtrip Nation film, which explores how a community college education can be the starting point to family-sustaining and fulfilling careers."

Based in Los Angeles, ECMC Foundation supports programs and initiatives across the country that help students, typically from underrepresented background , pursue and graduate with postsecondary certificates or degrees.

To learn more about "One Step Closer," watch the film online on April 6, or find air times for public television broadcasts near you, visit onestepcloserfilm.com.

You can also learn more about the film by following @RoadtripNation, @ECMCFoundation, and the hashtag #CommCollegeRoadtrip on Twitter.

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