Re: Looking for Hispanic Heroes/Role Models for students in the U.S.
Dear General Gonzales:
I am a single mother with an eleven year old son who is currently attending a small, Public Middle School in Southern California. The County where we live has a large farm worker population, primarily Hispanic, thus the school offers bilingual (Spanish/English) classes.
As I've done every year since my son started school, I volunteered last September when the school year began, to help in the classroom. I was assigned to help the 6th Grade Math teacher. I was astounded by a number of observances:
> The majority (over 75%) could not do simple multiplication and division, didn't understand fractions or simple math......and they were supposed to master Pre-Algebra in 6th Grade!
> The majority of those students had already decided that they were "dumb", "stupid", etc., and thus, had given up even trying to learn.
> There was a general sense from the students that they did not have much of a future to look forward to, so it was not worth trying. One student said, "I'm just going to be picking strawberries next year, why do I have know this stuff?"
> The students had a general lack of respect for the adults around them, but most disastrously, lacked respect for themselves.
Although my background has been in the Corporate world, I decided to create a program that would initiate a positive change in these students who will one day face a more challenging future than you and I have. After much research, I wrote a curriculum called Heroes & Heroines, the Path to a Heroic Life Journey. The school Administration embraced the program, and I am now teaching it to the entire student body on a weekly basis.
I am constantly searching for Role Models to introduce to the students....and each student is creating a list of their own Heroes and Heroines. At the beginning of the year, their lists tended to contain Entertainers and Comic Book heroes; now, they are understanding what it takes to be an everyday, real-life hero.
Outside of Sports and Entertainment, there is not a long list of Hispanic real-life heroes in the U.S., not with instantly recognizable names. That is why you can make such a difference.
Please, let me introduce your story to the students as "General Gonzales, the Hero who believed in Truth; who had the Courage to tell the truth in order to prevent the continued destruction of human life, to ensure that there was "Justice for All" in the United States, and who put his Country before himself."
I told the students a story in the first Heroes and Heroines class. A Native American Chief told his grandchildren that there was a good, kind, nurturing wolf as well as a mean, cruel wolf living within him, constantly battling. One of his grandchildren asked, "But which one will win?" He answered, "The one you feed."
Feed the right wolf, General Gonzales, and be a Hero to generations to come.
Date: Thu, 24 May 2007 06:16:45 -0700
Subject: To: Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales, Hero
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