Dr. Manny Scott is an inspiration to millions worldwide as an original Freedom Writer whose story is depicted, in part, in the hit movie, Freedom Writers. Despite a troubled upbringing and a seemingly hopeless future, Dr. Scott has overcome unimaginable obstacles and achieved incredible success. He has dedicated his life to helping others, traveling up to 300 days per year for over 20 years to inspire and empower educators, students, and leaders.
At just 16 years old, his life was hanging by a thread. Trapped in a cycle of poverty and violence, with a father in prison and a best friend brutally murdered, he felt that his future was bleak and hopeless. He dropped out of school, missed 60-90 days annually, lived in 26 different places, and felt like his life was spiraling out of control. He sat on a park bench, contemplating how to make others feel the depth of despair and anger he felt inside. He was headed down a path that would have destroyed him.
But then, he met several individuals who changed his life forever. They helped him to turn the page, and he returned to school, ending up in the back of Erin Gruwell’s English class, known worldwide as the Freedom Writers, portrayed in the hit movie. He became the first person in his family to graduate from high school, earn a Bachelor’s degree, a Master’s degree, and, most recently, a Ph.D in Intercultural Competence. Through hard work, perseverance, and the help of others, he is now living the life of his dreams.
Through his tireless efforts, Dr. Scott has helped over two thousand schools and organizations improve student achievement, teacher efficacy, and intercultural competence. He has also helped to prevent thousands of suicides. He is the author of several best-selling books, including “Even on Your Worst Day You Can Be a Student’s Best Hope.” He is also a mentor, pilot, ordained minister, content creator, and one of the nation’s most sought-after education speakers.
Jasmyn Wright, a globally recognized educator, author, advocate, and speaker, received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Spelman College and her Master’s in education from Christian Brothers University. A Teach for America and Fulbright Teachers for Global Classrooms alumna, she is the CEO & Founder of The Push Through Organization – a non-profit that uses innovative practices to equip, inspire, educate, and empower individuals to overcome adversity and become change agents.
An elementary educator of over 11 years, Jasmyn’s empowering and innovative teaching philosophies have been featured in a global GAP Kids back to school campaign, as well as various national and international media outlets. Her viral “push through” mantra has been implemented into adult and K-12 classroom settings across 19 U.S. states and 29 countries.
Published by Simon & Schuster, Jasmyn’s affirmational and empowering children’s book, I’m Gonna Push Through!, encourages children to access their power within and use it to overcome challenges. Jasmyn has had the opportunity to deliver two TEDx talks, as well as travel the world, leading keynotes and serving as a consultant to various educational organizations. To find out more about Jasmyn and her work, please visit her non-profit’s website at www.wepushthrough.org.