Chris Bolt/WAER News

  A former orphanage in Syracuse has been turned into a place that’s trying to improve learning - and the future - for some of Syracuse’s less fortunate children.  The Determination Center got some attention from the area’s Congressional representative Wednesday that just might help.

John Smith/WAER News

  Some Onondaga County residents took the morning off from work to be thrust into poverty; based on real-life situations… so they can make a difference.

More than 120 people were cast into the lives of 15 families and jam packed their one week schedule of challenges into 15 minute increments.  These aren’t professional  actors here but people taking part in the simulation took on realistic roles.

smiling close-up of Peterka, with four african children in the background candid
Speak Up Productions / whatmattersfilm.com

LeMoyne college is presenting an award-winning documentary tonight on poverty that also includes some surprises.  “What Matters?” is the story of three friends living on $1.25 a day to experience and document what it’s like living in extreme poverty.  

Director and subject Dan Parris says, “What Matters?” lacks the guilt-trip of your typical documentary on poverty.  He says it's the film's realist attitude and sense of adventure that turned the movie into a success - and, he hopes, inspires viewers to make a difference.