Hollywood 'Freedom Writer' Will Speak June 26 at the National Education Association in New Orleans

Jun 09, 2010, 10:50 ET from Manuel Scott

NEW ORLEANS, June 9 /PRNewswire/ -- An Original Freedom Writer, Manuel Scott, whose story is told in the Hollywood movie, Freedom Writers, starring two-time Academy Award® winner Hillary Swank, is going to New Orleans June 26, 2010 to kick off and blow the minds off of aspiring teachers at the National Education Association Leadership Conference in New Orleans.

"Freedom Writer" Manuel V. Scott, one of the students whose story is highlighted in the film, rose from a life of violence under the guidance of his 11th-grade English teacher, Erin Gruwell.

“I was once dismissed as ‘unreachable’ and ‘unteachable,’ and classified as an ‘English as a Second Language’ student,” says Scott. At the age of fourteen, Manuel dropped out of school, and began to fulfill the awful prediction that he would either be dead or in jail by the age of eighteen. His use of drugs and alcohol eventually led to his involvement in criminal activities. However, due to an amazing transformation, Manuel has defied all the odds stacked against him.

“Something special happened, and now I get to share that message with others.” The once high school dropout now holds a degree from the University of California at Berkeley, and a graduate degree from Trinity International University.

His message: "One single act by a teacher can change the trajectory of an entire life." He has received several awards for his commitment to transforming lives. “I do not share my story to impress people,” Scott explains, ”but to impress upon them some invaluable lessons that could literally change the quality of their lives forever."

“When I speak, I am absolutely committed to make sure that audiences are crystal clear about how to transform their classrooms, departments, or organizations." Scott’s presentation, Leadership in the Face of Adversity—We Can Overcome Anything With the Right Support, will light a big fire under aspiring future teachers after the recent explosive debates over reforming America’s worst-performing schools ignited in Rhode Island where the Central Falls High School staff was fired for failing to do their jobs.

On Saturday at 7 p.m., June 26, 2010, Manuel Scott will be the keynote speaker for the event scheduled to open the eyes of the student teachers of today and the professional teachers of tomorrow to more than 1,000 people convening at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans to kick off the NEA’s 148th annual meeting.

Scott is a nationally recognized speaker whose bold story encouraged him to rethink rigid beliefs about himself and others and to rechart his future and become a citizen for change.

His presentation Saturday evening will include a clip from the movie about the original Freedom Writers.

To learn more about Manuel and see clips of his dynamic presentation, visit ManuelVScott.com


Media Contact: Dawn Willson 310-600-8018

SOURCE Manuel Scott