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A Dream Come True

A Film by Sylvia Chase

Over a six month period, De Marillac Academy benefactor, volunteer and award-winning broadcast journalist Sylvia Chase chronicled the impact of a De Marillac education upon the Luna family.  This short movie highlights Olga Luna’s dedication to her children, and beautifully captures the spirit of perseverance, hard work and faith illustrated by each member of the Luna family; students and graduates of De Marillac.

Until you are able to come personally visit our students, please experience De Marillac through this movie. This piece offers an unparalleled glimpse into the neighborhood, home life, classrooms, and support programs that come together to make this unique community. And, please share it with your friends, colleagues and family.

From the writer and producer, Sylvia Chase:

“As a volunteer, my privilege has been to make a short movie about daily life at De Marillac Academy and the unusual community that surrounds the school: San Francisco’s Tenderloin. It is the wounded heart of town where living is far from easy and not always pretty. But when you walk through De Marillac’s gate, you experience a certain peace in the laughter of children and in the rustling quiet of a classroom where students are bent over their books and papers. They are in a safe place that is dedicated to their future… and to ours.

From the moment I stepped through the school gate in the spring of 2010 to the final words narrated just before Columbus Day, De Marillac dazzled me. It is like a sparkling jewel in a worn out setting. Surrounded by poverty, drugs, gangs, violence; De Marillac’s precious light glows. It is a loving and well-organized, highly-principled family made up of donors, volunteers, students, their parents, teachers, staff and counselors. And, more pro-bono counselors than I have ever seen in any school in the country! And always, there are the Daughters of Charity and De La Salle Christian Brothers whose mission is to serve and educate the poor.

We often see these students in sharp focus, as they ought to be. Yet, in the course of making this movie, I have been deeply inspired by the adults at De Marillac. Their dedication is selfless. How do they sustain this through a year round curriculum and 10 hour school days?! I don’t think this movie will answer that question, but you will see that it is a glorious institution, worthy of our support.”  – Sylvia Chase