VIDEO: The American Dream Team Sometimes education boils down to the basics: adults connecting with children to help them reach their full potential.

Here's one story of those connections.

Eli Martinez has gone to school at Orchard Gardens since kindergarten. During that time, the school was in turmoil; principals came and went, scores were low, and students' attention was scattered.

When she started 7th grade, a new principal instituted a longer learning day, with Citizen Schools providing the programming for the middle grades.

A new team entered Eli's life, drawing lines between the classrooms and the real world. Those lines ponted the way to a richer future, helping her clearly envision her goals and take the steps necessary to get there.

On April 3, 2013, Team Eli reunited for an evening. They watched this movie alongside attendees of A WOW! Affair, Citizen Schools' annual gala. Then they stood on stage together and took a bow.

Thanks, Eli, Emili, Tony, Sheena, Sam, and Andrew. And everyone who's part of a kid's team. Their future is in our hands...and our future is in theirs.

Film Credits:

Directed by Aaron Shadwell Produced by Colin Stokes Audio mix by Matt Russell

Special Thanks:

Kelly Bernard Megan Bird Andrew Bott Sheena Gulati Stacey Harris Samantha Kingsbury Pat Kirby Cesar Martinez Eli Martinez Emili Melo Ingrid Melo Mintz Levin Orchard Gardens K-8 Pilot School Tony Ryals Hannah Smith Sarah White