Freedom Writer Manny Scott speaks to students

EL CENTRO, Calif. – Hundreds of students throughout Imperial Valley came to Southwest High School to hear Mnany Scott from the Freedom Writers speak.

Manny Scott grew up in a bad neighborhood had a dad in prison and a step dad who beat his mom.

“I was so angry and broken.  That was it for me.  This complete stranger who had his own challenges addicted to crack sat next to me and encouraged me,” Manny Scott said.

Hundreds listened to his message that you are not alone in your problems and that there is hope…

“It hit me really hard.  Some of my friends I’ve known for a long time I learned things about them today.  It made me appreciate their friendship,” Mark Benedict said.

“It helped me realize that that it’s not the end and that better things can happen,” Maria Alvaraz said.

Scott was part of an English class that taught him how to get his story on paper and he learned that there is a way out.

That class was depicted the movie freedom writers starring Hillary Swank.

“Dr. King said you don’t have to make your subjects or verbs agree to serve somebody,” Scott said.

Among many things… Scott is a pastor and pastored a church in the beginning of his career but he felt he was called to do more.

“The world is my church.  I’m trying to love people where they are,” Scott said.

Scott hopes his message is loud and clear.  He hopes students are inspired and encouraged to live a good life.

About The Author

Eduardo Santiago joined the FOX 9 and ABC 5 news team in February, 2012. That’s the same year KECY launched its very first local newscast. He has been covering local news in Yuma and the Imperial Valley since his start as a KYMA photojournalist in 2006. During his decade in broadcasting, Eduardo has covered some of the biggest stories in the Desert Southwest – from President Bush’s visit to Yuma, Ariz. to the uncovering of drug tunnels that span the US-Mexico border. One of the most memorable stories Eduardo covered was the 2010 Easter Earthquake that rocked the Imperial Valley, Mexicali, and Yuma. Eduardo, along with his news team, won an award from the Associated Press for best coverage of an ongoing story following the quake. Before he made his move to TV, Eduardo was just a kid born in East Los Angeles, where he spent his early childhood. His parents moved him to Mexicali, B.C. Mexico, where he did most of his elementary school education. He finally landed in El Centro, where he graduated from Central Union High School in 2005. Eduardo is currently a student at Imperial Valley College. You can find Eduardo hanging out in the Imperial Valley and Yuma with his family on any given weekend. His off-screen passion is playing guitar and sports.

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