The true story of Jess Ellis, who with the help of The Smith Family has overcome extreme personal hardship to now tackle the study of medicine, has been released today (Tuesday 14 April) in a new animated film called Jess & The Mighty Journey.
The short film is the third in The Smith Family’s Tales of the ‘One in Ten’ series, produced in conjunction with The Solid State. The films are based on genuine case studies to highlight the experiences of children who have overcome disadvantage with the support of the national independent education charity.
The film features Jess, 24, as the voiceover artist telling her story, in her own words. She hopes that by sharing her story, she can help other disadvantaged kids see there is hope for a better future.
The Smith Family’s Acting CEO, Rosie Simpson, said: “With more than 638,000 or one in 10 Australian children living in jobless families, our latest film aims to showcase the courage and successes of one the students we have been able to assist.
“Our education sponsorship program ensured Jess could continue her schooling and pursue her personal career goals. Her story is truly inspiring and shows the real benefits that can be achieved through investing in the education of a disadvantaged child.
“Today, The Smith Family is helping thousands of disadvantaged children to get the chance to succeed at school and create a better future for themselves.”
Jess & The Mighty Journey tells the story of a young girl who grew up in very difficult circumstances. When Jess was around five years old, her mother, a successful businesswoman, was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and was unable to work and earn an income. The family had to survive on food and clothing vouchers and, at times, lived out of their car.
A sponsorship from The Smith Family’s Learning for Life program helped Jess to keep studying, finish Year 12 and to attain an undergraduate degree, all while being a carer for her Mum. She is now studying medicine and hopes to research new treatments for multiple sclerosis.
“There were times when it was overwhelming,” Jess said. “It can be quite easy to not see what’s going on in other people’s lives, but I think that people do need to know how many children out there are affected by hardship and could benefit from assistance with education the way I have.”
Watch the film below: