Directed by Greg Jacobs and Jon Siskel, “The Road Up” follows four individuals in Chicago as they participate in Cara, a job-training program that helps people overcome poverty by providing workforce training and personal coaching. As viewers see in the film, the program also helps participants develop confidence and instills in them an additional element that everyone needs to thrive. . . hope.

Sometimes having connection and community can make all the difference. Having someone who believes in you and won’t tolerate any less than they know you are capable of can be just the support one needs to keep striving when things get rough. In “The Road Up,” Jesse Teverbaugh is that champion. He’s the Director of Student and Alumni Affairs at Cara and teaches the four-week Transformations class where he passionately leads participants through a series of lessons that help awaken their self-worth.

A shining figure, Teverbaugh has a lasting impact on those he mentors and will have a profound affect on those who watch him in the film as well.

One of the most moving moments in “The Road Up” is when Teverbaugh shares his own life story with the participants, many of whom view him in a fatherly role. Pain is not exclusive and hearing the personal trauma Teverbaugh has gone through and overcome allows the participants who hold him in such a high regard to connect with him on a deeper level. It’s truly a breathtaking sequence.

One of the most important things “The Road Up” does is highlight how valuable programs like Cara are. There should be many more programs across America like Cara. Not just places that are focused on job skills but those that emphasize the whole person and the necessity of emotional skills too. Skills such as impulse control, conflict resolution, resilience, and the ability to show and receive love. All things that lead to an enriching life not simply a life of survival.

An astounding film on the vital nature of organizations that foster community, connection and self-growth, “The Road Up” will awe-inspire you.

See “The Road Up” screening online as part of the Melbourne Documentary Film Festival from July 1st – 31st. For more information on how to stream the film, visit: and eventive.