‘No Greater Odds’ Continues to Make an Impact


Cast from “No Greater Odds” with Congresswoman Dina Titus (photos courtesy of Holguin)

By Tinete Williams

College of Southern Nevada’s very own documentary “No Greater Odds” was screened across the nation to spread the word about importance of community colleges in changing lives.

A recent film screening at CSN’s North Las Vegas campus on Oct. 17 provided a unique opportunity for the film crew to partner with College Promise Campaign, a nonprofit higher-education initiative that builds widespread support for funding the first two years of community college education for all hardworking students.

“My favorite screenings are where we share the film with faculty, staff and students because I love seeing passion reignited and the community college mission reaffirmed,” said Charlene S. Gibson, communication instructor at CSN and co-creator and associate producer of “No Greater Odds”.

According to the film’s synopsis, “‘No Greater Odds’ is a powerful documentary that follows the inspirational stories of five community college students at the College of Southern Nevada. Barbara, Carlos, Jaklin, Monique and Tyrone each struggle with complicated family issues, financial difficulties and other personal obstacles as they seek to better their lives and futures through higher education.”

“‘No Greater Odds’ challenges misconceptions, ignites passion for higher education and inspires audiences to understand how community colleges lead the way with passion, purpose and a charge to educate future generations of our nation,” according to the synopsis. “By sharing these stories of struggle and triumph, college students will understand that the way their story ends depends on how it begins—because for them, there are No Greater Odds’.”


Cast and Crew

The cast and crew of this documentary have been all over the nation since their national premiere at the DREAM Conference in Atlanta February of last year.

They’ve had more than 75 requests in more than 35 states for screenings. People from Canada and the U.K. have reached out to them as well, according to Gibson.

Cast member of “No Greater Odds” Carlos Holguin traveled to several cities with the film’s team. One notable trip was to Washington D.C.

“I feel grateful to be a part of it because what I say has the potential to make a difference,” Holguin said. “I feel grateful to be a part of it because this is bigger than me, bigger than all of us in the film and what I say has the potential to affect thousands of people. I mean this film has already been viewed by hundreds probably thousands of eyes now.”

A screening in Washington D.C. was the first time Matt Caffrey, director of engagement and advocacy for the College Promise Campaign, saw the film and developed a partnership with the cast and crew of “No Greater Odds”.

“It’s incredible to me,” Caffrey said. “There are moments that are so powerful. It’s a beautifully made film that tells powerful stories. We were able to see its power to persuade policy makers [while in D.C.].”

The partnership between the film crew and Caffrey has materialized into several screenings and panel discussions including the recent one at CSN.

“We’ll continue to share the message and the film until everyone understands for our students there are no greater odds,” Gibson said. “I knew from the beginning that it was going to change the conversation about community colleges. It’s very clear that it changes lives, just like community colleges do.”


Holguin with Senator Harry Reid

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