© 2022 Western New York Public Broadcasting Association

140 Lower Terrace
Buffalo, NY 14202

Mailing Address:
Horizons Plaza P.O. Box 1263
Buffalo, NY 14240-1263

Buffalo Toronto Public Media | Phone 716-845-7000
WBFO Newsroom | Phone: 716-845-7040
Your NPR Station
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
Donate Today Banner

Navajo Teens Make Tough Choices In 'Heartbreak'

Thomas Martinez stands in front of "The Wall," an inspirational collection of his accolades, at his father's house.
Anthony Thosh Collins
/
Thomas Martinez stands in front of "The Wall," an inspirational collection of his accolades, at his father's house.

Like many high school students, Thomas Martinez and Tamara Hardy dreamed of leaving for college and finding their futures away from home. But both grew up on a Navajo reservation and were torn, between those aspirations and their strong ties to their poverty-stricken community.

Martinez struggles to balance the needs of his family with plans to run track in college. Hardy wants to earn an engineering degree away from home, yet like many Native parents, her mother and father are reluctant to see her leave.

In a new documentary, Up Heartbreak Hill, director and producer Erica Scharf follows the two high school seniors as they struggle with the decision of whether to stay close to what they know or leave for new opportunities.

Scharf and Martinez join NPR's Neal Conan to talk about the documentary, which airs in July as part of PBS' POV series.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.