Sundance Film Festival Panel Features KLS Head of School, Rachel E. Skiffer

Sundance Film Festival Panel Features KLS Head of School, Rachel E. Skiffer
Matt Nazario-Miller

Stanford or Bust? "Try Harder!" and the Myth of Acceptance

Update: This event has passed. Read below for more information about this past event.

On Sunday, January 31, the Sundance Film Festival hosted a free virtual panel discussion about Try Harder!, a newly-released documentary film which takes place at Lowell High School in San Francisco. Join film director Debbie Lum, our Head of School, Rachel E. Skiffer, and participants in the film as they share their perspectives. 

In US Documentary Competition selectionTry Harder!, students are challenged to define their identities outside of acceptance letters. In conversation with filmmaker Debbie Lum, Lowell students and experts in the field explore the intersection of education and mental well-being.

More Details + Registration

The event is free but all donations are greatly encouraged and go directly to support the Center For Asian American Media.

Film Details

At Lowell High School, the top-ranked public high school in San Francisco, the seniors are stressed out. As they prepare for the emotionally draining college application process, students are keenly aware of the intense competition for the few open spots in their dream colleges. They scrutinize how every element of their application, from their classes to their extracurricular activities to their racial identities, might be read by admission officers. Where do we draw the line? How can parents, teachers, counselors and coaches help this generation of high school students succeed without pushing them to the breaking point?

The high-stakes college admissions process and its impact on the mental health and identity of today’s generation of high school students is explored in the documentary film Try Harder!, which takes place at an iconic San Francisco institution, Lowell High School. Join director Debbie Lum and participants in the film as they share their perspectives.

  • High School
  • Lower School
  • Middle School