If we were to name the top five all-time family favorite Latino films, a list might include: La Bamba, Real Women Have Curves, Mi Familia, Selena and -- Stand and Deliver.
Who could forget the teacher Jaime Escalante, played by Edward James Olmos, who inspired a classroom full of East LA kids to believe they could learn calculus?
What made the film such a hit was that it was a true story and there was a real Jaime Escalante taking Latino kids under his wing and showing them that with faith in themselves and hard work they could accomplish a lot.
From the film, we all learned about Maestro Escalante and his desire to take backstage while letting the spotlight shine on his students. Well, now it's Jaime Escalante's turn to take center stage.
The actor Edward James Olmos has released a letter telling fans of the movie that Jaime Escalante, Kimo to his friends, needs the kind of help that can't be found in a textbook but only a checkbook.
...Jaime didn't just teach math. Like all great teachers, he changed lives. Gang members became aerospace engineers. Kids who had spent their youth convinced their lives didn't matter discovered they were leaders.
Now, Kimo needs our help. He is seriously ill, and the treatment he needs has depleted all the funds his family can raise. They did not want to ask for help, but we took it upon ourselves to get the word out to all the country and around the world, to make his final days as comfortable as possible - and maybe even give him a chance to beat the cancer that has afflicted him.
I have been moved to tears to hear of the circumstances of this great man and am calling for a last National Understanding of his selfless contributions to "making a difference in this world."
Send a check payable to:
"Friends of Jaime"
236 West Mountain Street, Suite 105
Pasadena, CA 91103
For questions call: 626-793-5300 or e-mail - firstname.lastname@example.org.
Now, it would seem it's our turn to Stand and Deliver!