“Freedom Writer” speaks to EHS students and staff

Caitlin Glancey, Hi-Gusher Staff

Author and inspiration Manny Scott spoke to the students and teachers of El Dorado High School last week.

Scott has had a difficult life. His father was imprisoned, he dropped out of school at the age of 14, and had given up on life. He hated his life, and wanted to make others as miserable as he was.

According to mannyscott.com, Scott was quoted saying, “When I look back, I now see that I was heading down a path that would have destroyed me.”

One day, a man sat next to him on a park bench, and turned his life around. He encouraged him to create a new life. Scott founded Ink International Inc., an education firm known to empower the lives of millions of people, in 2007. The 2007 MTV movie Freedom Writers is about Scott’s story, as to how he overcame his past and proceeded to strive for better.

Former Barton Junior High Teacher Karen Millican convinced the school board to let Scott come and speak, and the school board agreed.

On Oct. 22, Scott talked to the teachers of EHS in a meeting. He proceeded to talk to teachers about connecting with students, how to build relationships and how to reach out to struggling kids. Many teachers were personally affected by how passionate he was.

EHS Principal Alva Reibe said she was impressed by the way he spoke about students. “We never know what’s going on in a student’s life, and I liked the way he expressed that.”

An assembly was held for students on Oct. 23, and Scott spoke about how you’re not alone, how the struggles you’re going through do not define you.

Many students were emotionally affected, and many were crying during the majority of the assembly.

Reibe said that numerous students have come up to her thanking her for allowing Scott to come and speak.

Scott touched many lives at EHS, resulting in Superintendent Jim Tucker, Barton Principal Sherri Hill, and Reibe to consider bringing him back in the future.