This documentary film project by Heather Jurgenson, a 10th grade student at Uniontown, Kansas High School in 1996, began a beautiful story. Heather became friends with Elizabeth Eckford of the Little Rock Nine and produced a video documentary. She, along with two young men of the high school, would bring about a reunion between Elizabeth and a white student who befriended her forty years earlier.

The U.S. History textbook, The Americans by McDougal Littell, has the following in the teacher’s edition:

The experience at Central High School traumatized Elizabeth Eckford, who dropped from public view after 1958. In 1996, she reappeared in the news when Heather Jurgensen, a 16-year-old student at a rural Kansas high school, convinced Eckford to be the subject of a video for the National History Day competition. After turning down media interviews for decades, Eckford decided to help Jurgensen. Jurgensen’s video became a national finalist in the competition.

There will be much more on this inspiring story.


Ken & Ann: the two white students who befriended Elizabeth Eckford in Speech class in 1957 at Little Rock Central High School


Ken Reinhardt, senior at Little Rock Central in 1957, befriended Elizabeth Eckford


Ken Reinhardt reunited with Elizabeth Eckford thanks to this group of students: Heather Jurgensen Russell, Jeremy Johnston & David Foster