Keynote for Saturday November 20
An original Freedom Writer whose story is told in part in the 2007 hit movie, Freedom Writers, Manny Scott has energized almost two million leaders, educators, volunteers, and students worldwide with his authentic, inspiring messages of hope. On the road up to 300 days per year for the last two decades, Manny Scott is on a mission.
By age 16, Manny’s story was almost 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, and considered how he would make others feel the depth of despair and anger roiling in his soul. He says, “When I look back, I now see that I was heading down a path that would have destroyed me.”
Then, several individuals entered his life and helped him turn the page. He returned to school 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. She and several others helped Manny go from Fs and Ds to As and Bs. They helped him become the first person in his family to graduate from high school and go to college. Through very hard work, and with the help of others, Manny is now living the life of his dreams.
In 2007, he founded Ink International, Inc, an education consulting firm that has empowered nearly two million people to improve the quality of not only their own lives, but also the lives of those around them. He has helped hundreds of organizations raise student achievement and leader effectiveness in 49 states and five continents; and, he has helped prevent thousands of dropouts and suicides.
He is now happily married, a doting father of three, a pilot, a Ph.D. student, and one of the nation’s most sought-after speakers.