This week's New Yorker is using her talents on the big screen, and her tribulations from childhood, to teach students to be more tolerant of one another. NY1's John Schiumo filed the following report.
Standing up in front of a class filled with teenagers would have been Marisol Carrere's worst nightmare growing up.
Today, empowered by her struggles at school, she is inspiring students to stand up to bullying.
"I think I had the worst of the bullying. It was very humiliating," Carrere says. "These kids really tormented us, especially, I felt, me, a lot. I was very young. I was a little sickly. I didn't speak the language. I felt powerless, and I guess it's something that stayed with me."
Carrere was born in Colombia and grew up in Queens. Today, she is an actress and filmmaker who has taken her experience at school to the big screen.
"As an artist, I want to do work that is socially conscious," Carrere says. "I want to do things that have meaning."
In 2011, she produced "I am Julia", a short film chronicling the story of a girl being bullied. Now, using in-class workshops, she helps students write scripts and produce storyboards to develop stories about their own lives.
"The idea of an education of a school has become something very strange," says Bart Rosenzweig, a student at Midwood High School. "With this new bullying, cyberbullying, it doesn't make any sense. It takes learning and making a future for yourself, it takes it all out of context. It truly is ridiculous."
"My students are responding with a lot of enthusiasm because they see it happening," says Gary Collins, a teacher at Midwood High School. "They see the cyberbullying, they see the bullying in the schools, they see what's happening, and they want to do something about it. And media is a great place to start. Film is a great place to start."
Carrere and the students at Midwood High School hope their work will change the way bullying is discussed.
"The whole thing is all about being able to communicate with each other, within the school, with the parents, and try to have a more peaceful environment," Carrere says.
So, for sharing her hardships in school so others overcome theirs, Marisol Carrere is our New Yorker of the Week.
For More Information