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The Homestretch follows three homeless teens as they fight to stay in school, graduate, and build a future. Each of these smart, ambitious teenagers – Roque, Kasey and Anthony – will surprise, inspire, and challenge audiences to rethink stereotypes of homelessness as they work to complete their education while facing the trauma of being alone and abandoned at an early age.
Tedd Peso joined The Night Ministry in 2008 and is currently the Manager of Advocacy and Community Affairs. In this role, he builds relationships with elected officials and policy makers at all levels of government and works to connect The Night Ministry’s clients to advocacy opportunities. He regularly represents The Night Ministry at various CAPS and neighborhood association meetings. Tedd is a member of the City of Chicago’s Task Force on Homeless Youth, Chicago Coalition for the Homeless’ Youth Committee, and Chicago Continuum of Care Advocacy Committee. He is a graduate of Drake University and The John Marshall Law School.
Kasey White was born and raised on the south side of Chicago, Kasey spent over a year bouncing around between friends, family members and sleeping on the street, ultimately dropping out of high school her senior year. We meet Kasey in the film as she just enters a new transitional home and is re-enrolled in school. Kasey is a poet, a painter and is a tremendous source of support for her huge network of friends.
Roque Sanchez– Due to immigration complications Roque was forced to separate from his family and fend for himself on and off, beginning his sophomore year of high school. With an unstable family and housing situation, Roque spent several years bouncing around. One of his teachers introduced him to Shakespeare and acting and he became inspired to finish high school and go to college. With his teacher’s support, he hopes to go into theater and psychology and help others through some of the challenges he has faced.
Maria Rivera (CPS Teacher) Maria is a mother, wife, public-school teacher and writer who currently lives on the southwest side of Chicago. Born and raised in and around Detroit, Michigan, Maria came to Chicago in the early 1990’s with her brothers, in pursuit of an education and a better life. She works as an educator in the Chicago Public School system and with many educational partner organizations such as Chicago Shakespeare Theater and 826CHI.
Andrew Schwertfeger, Executive Producer – has been working in independent film for over 7 years, during which time he has worked on such films as Happy Tears and the Sundance hit Teeth. He has recently shifted focus to social issue documentary filmmaking and is a passionate advocate for underprivileged youth and education. He serves on the associate board of Chicago Scholars, which provides talented, academically ambitious, and underserved high school students from every neighborhood in Chicago with access and success through college and beyond.
Barbara Bolsen is The Night Ministry’s Vice President of Strategic Partnerships and Community Engagement.