A Great Man Dies

Martin Luther King Jr once said, “Life’s most urgent question is: what are you doing for others?”

Once in a great while we get to see that question answered by the inspirational story of others. In 1988 I had two small babies and I don’t think I saw hardly any movies for years during that time, but I did see “Stand and Deliver.” It was one of the most inspiring films I had ever seen. If only Hollywood could focus more on stories such as these, the world would be a much better place.

The man on whom the film is based has died:

Jaime Escalante, the charismatic former East Los Angeles high school teacher who taught the nation that inner-city students could master subjects as demanding as calculus, died Tuesday. He was 79.

The subject of the 1988 film “Stand and Deliver,” Escalante died at his son’s home in Roseville, Calif., said actor Edward James Olmos, who portrayed the teacher in the film. Escalante had bladder cancer.

“Jaime didn’t just teach math. Like all great teachers, he changed lives,”

He did indeed. He proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that it doesn’t matter what color skin a child has, or what their background is, they all have the ability to achieve. All they need is someone to believe in them.

There are many more teachers like Escalante out there teaching every day. They will never have a movie made about them, but they are heros nonetheless. I honor them.

It is being asked that in lieu of flowers to send donations to the Jaime Escalante Legacy Project at 236 West Mountain Street, Suite 105, Pasadena CA 91103, so that his dream of educating and excellence lives on.

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