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Manny Scott        

Scholar, Author & Original "Freedom Writer"

An original Freedom Writer whose story is told in part in the hit movie, Freedom Writers, Manny Scott has energized more than two million educators, students, and leaders worldwide with his authentic, inspiring messages of hope.

On the road up to 300 days a year for the past two decades, Manny Scott has delivered over 2,000 presentations, and is the speaker of choice for conferences, conventions, PD days, fundraisers, and banquets.

Scott has a gift: the ability to connect with, hold the attention of, and energize all kinds of audiences. From inner-city youth to business executives, Manny has learned to speak, and command, the language of his audiences with relevant, riveting, and compelling messages, moving them from cheers, to laughter, to tears, and go-forward determination.

By age 14, Scott’s story was almost over, Scott's 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, a man—a complete stranger—took a risk, and sat down beside Scott. That man connected with him, encouraged him, and inspired him to write a different story—to create a new life.

That day, on a park bench, Scott turned the page. 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 hit MTV movie.

In his journal, Scott began writing—and dreaming about—new, more fulfilling chapters in his life- chapters filled with healing, hope, perseverance, and possibility.

Through very hard work, and with the help of others, Manny has achieved many of the dreams he wrote about in his journal.

Scott graduated from the University of California at Berkeley with degrees in Political Science and Rhetoric. He also graduated from Trinity International University with a Master of Divinity.

Furthermore, Scott is currently conducting extensive and original research for his Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Intercultural Studies (with a minor in Education) so that he can develop a unified, grounded, theoretical explanation of the processes through which effective educators and communicators go to develop intercultural competence (the ability to speak and behave in ways that are effective and appropriate, based on awareness, understanding, and skills).

Through The Power of One, How to REACH Youth Today, Becoming Interculturally Competent, and his unique Turn the Page school-wide assemblies, Scott has helped thousands of schools and organizations, raise student achievement, intercultural competence, and leader efficacy in 49 states and on six continents; and, he has helped prevent thousands of dropouts and suicides.

Most importantly, Scott is a family man. He has been married to his college sweetheart for 18 years. They are raising three children together. When Scott is not speaking, traveling, or conducting research, he is spending quality time with his family.

Through very hard work, and the loving help of educators, Scott has broken the cycle, and achieved the dreams that he used to dream about.

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