Researcher’s story subject of film

This month the dramatic personal story of Bill De La Rosa, a researcher in the County’s Criminal Justice Reform Unit, comes to the big screen at the Fox Tucson Theatre Jan. 14 at 10 a.m.

Written by students from the Lapan College Club at C.E. Rose K-8 School and Hollinger K-8 School and adapted for film by club members, "Bill" dramatizes the hardships De La Rosa's family endured during their journey to the U.S. and his day-to-day struggles to care for his father following a stroke.  De La Rosa's also had to raise two younger siblings, all while separated from their mother due to immigration issues. 
Bill De La Rosa
Despite those obstacles, De La Rosa thrived academically, becoming valedictorian at Pueblo High School and winning a Gates Millennium Scholarship to Bowdoin College in Maine. He earned a bachelor's degree in Sociology and Latin American Studies with Honors, followed by two master's in Migration Studies and in Criminology and Criminal Justice from the University of Oxford where he was a Marshall Scholar. De La Rosa also had a stint as a Truman-Albright Fellow and policy analyst at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Now De La Rosa brings all of that experience to his work with Pima County, examining data from local criminal justice system stakeholders, identifying system inefficiencies, and helping the Criminal Justice Reform Unit devise strategies to lower the jail population and address racial disparities in the justice system.

"I hope my story inspires other young students to keep going, despite their own struggles," De La Rosa said. "I want this production to send the message: 'Don't give up hope; rely on your family and you can get through anything.’"

Both versions of “Bill” use video and audio from the public television documentary "Divided by Law" and other news coverage about the story.

De La Rosa expects a nearly full house for the free matinee screening at the Fox, 17 W. Congress St., including friends, family, and well-wishers, in addition to dozens of C.E. Rose and Hollinger students on a field trip.

(Photo courtesy Bill De La Rosa.)
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