Released from rehab and newly recovered from near-fatal gunshot wounds, Latanya returns home to find herself evicted. Her criminal record (CORI) makes it impossible to find a job or a place to stay, and she's forced to take refuge in a homeless shelter. The pastor from a local church sees Latanya is trying to do the right thing and asks one of his members to take Latanya in, so she doesn't have to stay in the shelter. However, the old woman hates women like Latanya and is very mean to her and treats her like a child.
Latanya goes to speak to the principal to get support for the girls' program she started. The principal realizes Latanya has some of the worst girls in the school in her writing program and decides to make a deal with her. If Latanya can get the girls who attend her program to not miss more than 17 days of school or drop out, Latanya will get $2,000. Getting the girls on her side is difficult and slow. Things are going OK until the girls find out Latanya is getting paid to keep them in school and the girls feel she is using them just like everyone else. So the girls stop coming to school. Latanya reaches a breaking point when she goes to talk to Kevin about her bad day, and her friend Kevin is killed in a drive-by while talking to an old friend. Unable to resist temptation, Latanya accepts some crack from a friend and gets high to dull her pain. Soon after, Latanya's parole officer (PO) demands she take a random drug test. Knowing she'll fail the test, she begs for one more chance, knowing a violation of her probation could lead her back to prison to finish her sentence. Her PO says he'll give her one chance but requires her goes to Al-Anon. She agrees and meets a physician named David at the meeting, and the two bond through their recovery. Despite her problems, Latanya must keep her troubled girls from dropping out because their future depends on staying in school. Will she beat the odds and turn her life around, as well as the lives of her girls?
Through Latanya: Hindered but Not Defeated, viewers will experience the difficulties convicted felons have in rebuilding their lives after being in jail, particularly when they don't have an education and must start from scratch. The story showcases the unheard voices of the women who are the girlfriends, sisters, and mothers of gang members. It is the expectation that viewers (especially tweens, teens, and young women) will learn from Latanya's story and her problems as an ex-convict, and that viewers won't make the same mistakes after they experience Latanya's story.
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About the Author
Ed has a M.Div. from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and a Master of Science in Management degree from MIT's Sloan School of Management. His forthcoming book is The Role of the Church in Reducing Gang Violence. He has also written Regenerative Medicine and Human Genetic Modification. He notes, "I like to write on topics with the potential to have a big impact so I can help make a difference." He is also the founder of Sunday Celebrations, a designer line of food that is healthy and socially responsible.