Formerly Homeless Doctor Tells His Story of Beating the Odds in Award-Winning Filmby Greater Diversity News July 9, 2021
Resilient is a new award-winning short film that shines the light on childhood homelessness by looking through the life of Dr. Tommy Watson, whose parents were arrested 121 times by the time he was a homeless senior in high school. During that time, he had been recruited as one of the top football players in America.
There are nearly 3 million homeless students in the nation’s public schools – a problem that continues to grow at staggering rates. Every night, in Charlotte, NC, nearly 5,000 kids will go to sleep in shelters, motel rooms, and in cars. According to the Institute for Children, Poverty & Homelessness, these students have an 87% chance of dropping out.
Resilient is based on Dr. Watson’s real-life, award-winning book entitled A Face of Courage: The Tommy Watson Story. “The purpose of writing and producing this short film was to inspire others to be their best selves regardless of the challenges they face in life,” he explains. “I want people to know that our stories, good or bad, make us who we are and what we decide to become.”
Dr. Watson has recently completed his scripts for his featured movie and TV series about his story which have received great reviews. “I am looking forward to collaborating with successful executive producers, directors, and actors in the industry to bring more hope and optimism to our world. I hope that others will see the movie and series and have the same feelings that I had when I watched Blindside and Pursuit of Happyness!”
Dr. Watson’s parents were heroin addicts and shoplifters. He grew up in the Five Points area of Denver, a crime-ridden neighborhood wrought with gang violence, drugs, and poverty. Living in this type of neighborhood would create any number of obstacles and challenges for a young person, however, Watson’s biggest challenges were faced behind closed doors. Watson and his siblings paid a hell of a price due to the actions of their drug-addicted parents. Fortunately for Watson, he was able to rise above the odds that consumed his parents, siblings, and many friends.
Despite being in foster homes, living in nearly 30 different locations growing up, being homeless as a senior in high school and without any parental supervision, protection or support, Dr. Watson overcame challenge after challenge after challenge and became an utter success!
From pain to purpose, Resilient is Watson’s inspiring journey from homelessness, abandonment, and childhood neglect to successful Big Ten football player with hopes for the NFL and later a fulfilling career as a school principal.
Resilient, similar to the movies Blindside and Pursuit of Happyness, depicts a homeless Tommy Watson willing to do whatever it takes, and against all odds to rise above his circumstance and flourish. The powerful message of Dr. Tommy Watson’s story is, if he can do it, then there is a chance for anyone.
“He [Watson] is a reminder of what you can do to achieve seemingly impossible dreams.” — Omaha World Herald
“Tommy is a character to root for, and it is easy to invest in his journey towards a better future. The story is moving and has a lot of heart, a solid tale of resilience and hope.” — The Black List (Leading industry reviewer)
“Watson had the guts…he had within himself the characteristics necessary to succeed.” — The Denver Post
“Watson’s life reads like a Hollywood screenplay.” — BIGTEN Network