Subjects: Children Youth and Family, American Studies
The remarkable story of four foster youth preparing for life outside the foster care system. Summer, 17 and transgender, yearns to be adopted. Glorianna, 19 an artist, struggles to live on her own after spending 12 years in a group home. Jaloni and Kalonji, 18-year-old twins, grew up in poverty, but become star athletes and scholars with the help of two loving adults.
Summer is a 17-year old transgender girl who grew up in foster homes and whose primary goal is to be adopted by a family who accepts her. Summer is an eternal optimist and although she has been dealt multiple blows she has not lost her inner strength or determination.
With help from Sam, her Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA), Summer navigates her gender transition, bullying, school work and dream of becoming a dancer. Sam, the most important person in her life, helps her gain a sense of self-respect and responsibility.
Glorianna is a 20-year old graphic novelist, artist, writer, YouTuber and budding animator. Glorianna finds herself moving to a transitional living apartment following years of living in a residential care facility with hundreds of other girls.
With her new independence comes the responsibilities and challenges of finding a job, paying the bills, going to school, feeding herself and finding more permanent housing.
KALONJI AND JALONI
Kalonji and Jaloni are 19-year-old twin brothers born into a large close-knit family living in extreme poverty.
The boys were placed in foster care at age 12 and after living in numerous foster homes, found a loving and supportive foster family.
Through the guidance of their foster family, both boys learned to trust others, excel in school and athletics and, in August, began college on full scholarships.
Jaloni, a state champion track and field athlete, is training to be in the Olympics while Kalonji is studying criminal justice.
They remain close to their birth family, and view them and their foster family as one large extended family.
PBS Special Release for the series To Foster Change
About the filmmaker
Pamela Tom is an Emmy-winning writer, director, and producer whose films explore subjects ranging from beauty and identity, to art, technology, social justice, and the Asian American experience.
Her award-winning documentary, Tyrus, premiered at the 42nd Telluride Film Festival and had its national broadcast on the Emmy-nominated season of PBS's American Masters. Her short narrative film, Two Lies, about a divorced Chinese American mother who undergoes plastic surgery to make her eyes look rounder, screened at the Sundance Film Festival and in film festivals around the world. Her documentary, Finding Home: A Foster Youth Story, about four teens as they prepare for life outside the foster care system, premiered on PBS and won a 2019 Los Angeles Emmy.