DEMING, N.M. — Two friends at Deming High School with virtually opposite backgrounds will have their stories told during a private screening of a film that features students from around New Mexico from their sophomore year through senior year.
Montiqua Speir, 18 and Vicky Garza, 18, both seniors, were selected by Santa Fe-based production company Littleglobe and the GEAR UP New Mexico program to be featured in the film. They are among six students from Farmington, Cuba, Laguna-Acoma, Portales and Deming to star in the production, which began in 2010 to tell the coming-of-age stories of New Mexican students.
"I think because I come from a well-structured home and my mom and dad have done so much to make my childhood different from theirs," Speir said when asked why she was selected. "Everyone else's story, they have some kind of tragedy."
She hails from a family with a rich history of agriculture production, many of whom are recognizable faces around town.
On the flipside, for Garza, her mother's death and incarceration of her father have left the young student with hopes of becoming a social worker to find her way in life alongside her older sister, Patricia.
"My dad has been in jail since I was seven and at 12, my mom passed away," she explained. "I've been living with my sister ever since."
Despite her obstacles, Garza has held regular employment at the Sonic Drive-In for two years, maintained good grades, served in community service projects and participated in the school band. Speir, who plans to room with Garza at New Mexico State University, calls Garza's story "inspiring."
"It was really hard," Garza said of growing up without her parents. "It was kind of hard seeing my sister drop everything for me."
She says doing the film has made her more confident and has strengthened her friendship with Speir, who plans to try out for the NMSU cheer squad and major in a special or early education career pathway.
The "work-in-progress" documentary film is titled, "What We Are Made Of."
Information from: Headlight, http://www.demingheadlight.com