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Documentary depicts trauma in life of student now attending Penn

'Glen's Village,' to be shown Friday, is the story of a University City High alum who grew up around the drug trade in West Philadelphia.

This article was originally published in The Notebook. In August 2020, The Notebook became Chalkbeat Philadelphia. The Notebook and 5th Borough Films are proud to announce the release and screening this Friday, May 1, of Glen’s Village, a 30-minute documentary film about a University of Pennsylvania student, Glen Casey, and the challenging path he has followed to get there.

Directed and produced by journalists Dorian Geiger and Paul Jablow, the film will be shown at 5:30 p.m. at the Urban Studies Department on the University of Pennsylvania campus – in Room G17 of Claudia Cohen Hall, 249 S. 36th St.

The screening will be preceded at 5 p.m. by a "meet and greet" with refreshments and with the filmmakers and Glen Casey himself. It will be followed at 6 p.m. by a 30-minute panel discussion. Admission is free. Email the Notebook or call 215-839-0082 for more information.

Glen’s Village is part of a larger reporting project on trauma and its role in schools that the Notebook has undertaken in 2015. The documentary will be released online by the Notebook in three parts this week. The final episode of Glen’s Village will be released after the screening on Friday.

Casey was born and raised in West Philadelphia, surrounded by drugs and violence. But with the help of counselors, mentors, teachers at University City High School – and most of all, a mother who never quit on him – he’s now a University of Pennsylvania sophomore.

From selling crack cocaine on the streets in 9th grade to attending an Ivy League school, Casey’s journey is filled with bumps, bruises, and redemption. The film looks at the impact of trauma, particularly in children, exploring it as an important part of Philadelphia’s constantly evolving urban narrative.

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