Inspiring Speaker Comes to Chavez
The Cougar family was honored to be in the presence of an amazing man on March 28, 2013. A once tough-talking Latino gangster, now a college-educated, nationally recognized speaker, Richard Santana’s journey provides a powerful and graphic illustration of cultural relevance in schools. His moving accounts of his gang-life experiences and how they shaped his beliefs, attitudes and self-expectations are inspiring, unsettling and thought-provoking. He challenges his audience to critically assess their own perceptions and helps them to recognize how these perceptions influence work relationships, effectiveness and productivity.
His message is one of making choices: between hope and hopelessness, between evaluating young people based upon our own standards or accepting them in the context of their own, between giving up on our most challenged youth and truly becoming their advocates.
Founder of Homeboy Goes to Harvard Productions, Richard shares his story as a third generation gang member who went on to earn a Master’s degree from Harvard University. He demonstrates to students and educators how he accomplished the change that occurred in his life — the change that can occur in anyone’s life.
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