USPS will now stamp and deliver mail in honor of renowned East LA teacher, Jaime Escalante. (Sorry, we couldn’t help it!)
Wednesday, the USPS followed suit, honoring him with the unveiling of his very own commemorative stamp. The First-Class Forever stamp debuted at the 87th conference of the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) in Washington, D.C.
Jaime Escalante began teaching in Bolivia before coming to the U.S. in 1963. Instead of declaring inner city and at-risk students lost causes like some teachers, he made it his life mission to teach them math and ensure they excelled. Edward James Olmos brought has character and story to life in the 1988 classic film, “Stand And Deliver.” As you may know from watching the film, students responded incredibly well, many even went on to study calculus and college – something that didn’t seem obtainable before Escalante.
The U.S. Postal Service dedicated a Limited Edition Forever Stamp to Jaime Escalante, the East Los Angeles high school math teacher immortalized in the 1988 film "Stand and Deliver," in a ceremony. Actor Edward James Olmos was among those who spoke at the ceremony at a Washington hotel. http://4.nbcla.com/MSUSgnR
Posted by NBC LA on Wednesday, July 13, 2016
A ceremony took place at Garfield High School to unveil the special edition stamp. Edward James Olmos delivered an inspirational speech, “I don’t know one president, one pope, one engineer, one sports giant, one astronaut, that could have done it without a teacher. If it wasn’t for teachers, none of us would be where we are today.”
Jaime Escalante Jr. also gave a poignant speech and hugged fans of his father.
Even U.S. Education Secretary John B. King, Jr. attended the event, “I am here today and I am alive today because teachers like Jaime Escalante believed in me. His students had a different sense of what was possible for them because they had a teacher who believed in them. This is a wonderful remembrance of him.”
Jamie Escalante died in 2010, but will continue to be remembered as one of the most inspirational Americans in history.
Escalante is the second Latino to be honored in the ‘Distinguished American’ series of stamps honoring great Americans. José Ferrer was the first.
We leave you with one of el profesor’s iconic quotes:
“There will be no free rides, no excuses. You already have two strikes against you: your name and your complexion. Because of those two strikes, there are some people in this world who will assume that you know less than you do. Math is the great equalizer… When you go for a job, the person giving you that job will not want to hear your problems; ergo, neither do I. You’re going to work harder here than you’ve ever worked anywhere else. And the only thing I ask from you is ganas. Desire.”
Did you have a teacher that changed the course of your life? Tell us in the comments below then share on Facebook and Twitter!