An original Freedom Writer whose story is told in part in the 2007 hit movie, Freedom Writers, Manny Scott has energized over a million leaders, educators, volunteers, and students worldwide with his authentic, inspiring messages of hope. Speaking to over 125 groups a year for the past decade, he is the speaker of choice for conferences, conventions, schools, fundraisers, and banquets.
Manny 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 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, a man- a complete stranger- took a risk, and sat down beside Manny. That man connected with him, encouraged him, and inspired him to write a different story- to create a new life. Manny heard that man say, in essence, “Just because you live in the hood, the hood doesn’t have to live in you;” “You can’t control what happens to you, but you can control your response;” “You can become the father you never had, and the man you’ve never met;” and, “You can create a future better than your past.”
That day, on a park bench, Manny 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 2007 hit MTV movie.
In his journal, Manny 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 those journaled dreams. He is now happily married, a doting father of three, a successful entrepreneur, a PhD student, and one of the nation’s most sought after speakers.
"I do not speak to impress people," Manny explains, "but to impress upon them some invaluable lessons that could literally change the quality of their lives forever. When I speak, I try to make sure audiences are crystal clear about how to ‘turn the page’- to transform their lives. Whether I'm in Houston or Hong Kong, Kansas City or Cairo, Los Angeles or London, I carry a torchlight of inspiration into the recesses of dormant potential, and show the gems that are sparkling there." Manny Scott is helping people change their lives all over the globe.