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Manny Scott

By age 16, Manny felt his story was over:
His father was incarcerated, he missed 60-90 days of school annually from 4th to 9th grade, he dropped out of school at age 14, he lived in 26 places by age 16, and his best friend was brutally murdered. Sensing that the end of his life was near, Manny sat down on a park bench.

Then, a man—a complete stranger—took a risk, and sat down beside Manny. That man helped him see that his story could change, that his future could be better than his past. “Just because you live in the “hood,” the “hood” doesn’t have to live in you.” “You can’t control what happens to you, but you can control your response.” “You can become the father you never had, and the man you’ve never met.” “You can create a future better than your past.”

Manny Scott turned the page that day on a park bench. He returned to school with a new attitude and purpose, and ended up in the back of Erin Gruwell’s English class-—a group now known worldwide as the Freedom Writers, portrayed in the 2007 hit MTV movie.

In his journal, Manny began writing, and dreaming about, new, more fulfilling chapters in his life—chapters filled with healing, hope, perseverance, and possibility. Manny has achieved many of those journaled dreams. He is now a happy, faithful husband, a doting father of three, a successful entrepreneur, a Ph.D. student, and one of the nation’s most sought after speakers.