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HERE ONE DAY Team Remembers Joaquin Luna and Supports NEW AMERICAN GIRLS: web series about undocumen

While many of us of are shifting into high gear for the holidays, a family in Texas will be dealing with the devastation of loss. Suicide appeared in headlines nationwide again last month after 18-year-old Joaquin Luna took his own life the day after Thanksgiving.

Unlike the subject of HERE ONE DAY, Nina Leichter, who struggled through adulthood with bipolar disorder before deciding to take her life, Luna lost hope before adulthood. The teenager was undocumented and the lack of legal status weighed heavily on him. According to his family and a telling essay the student wrote, Luna took his life because his adult aspirations were dashed largely due to Congress’ failure to pass the DREAM Act.

One of hundreds of thousands of undocumented students raised in America known as “DREAMers,” Luna did not have legal citizenship status, but was brought to the United States when he was a baby. He dreamed of becoming an engineer and was in the process of applying to colleges.


Our friend, filmmaker Mitch Teplitsky, is in the midst of production on NEW AMERICAN GIRLS, a web series for Latino Public Broadcasting about four undocumented college grads aiming for careers in medicine, law and education. Only they’re stuck — they can’t work legally, and live in fear of deportation. These are stories that will shed light on the need for immigration reform and inspire youth to continue their education.

The DREAM Act would provide a pathway to legal citizenship for young, educated immigrants. Many undocumented youth feel powerless when it comes to determining their futures. They dream of being the first in their family to go to college, but without access to state financial aid, how will they afford a college education? Without an education or legal status, how will they pursue careers?


With Mitch’s advice and moral support, HERE ONE DAY completed a hugely successful Kickstarter campaign in June that moved our editing forward in leaps and bounds. To raise funds for editing NEW AMERICAN GIRLS, Mitch has now taken on the challenge of launching his ownKickstarter fundraising campaign to share the trailer and invite people to make pledges of any amount. DVDs, books and other gifts are offered as rewards. HERE ONE DAY director Kathy Leichter and I have both pledged our support!

NEW AMERICAN GIRLS will be offered to PBS in 2012 if Mitch can hit his goal of raising $20,000 by January 1. As you may remember from the HERE ONE DAY Kickstarter campaign, all pledges are cancelled if the goal isn’t reached by Jan. 1st.

The HERE ONE DAY team hopes you will help support by making a pledge and spreading the word about this important new web series.

To watch Mitch’s trailer, read more and pledge:

For updates, visit the project’s Fan Page:


Here is a great article on helping a friend or family member who is suicidal:

Also, you may find help for yourself or loved ones facing a suicide crisis here:

With gratitude,

Noelle K. Barnes

Asst. Associate Producer, Here One Day

Public Relations, Lucuma Films

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