Other TitlesEAPA's 2008 Annual World EAP Conference
Catalyst for Change: Make a World of Difference- and a Difference in the World
DescriptionThe 2007 Paramount Pictures film Freedom Writers, starring Academy Award winner Hilary Swank and Patrick Dempsey, tells the incredible story of Maria Reyes and her classmates who overcame enormous adversity with the support of their teacher Erin Gruwell. Erin Gruwell and Maria Reyes— an optimistic and perhaps naïve young teacher and a gang member involved in the juvenile justice system— now make a powerful team. In this address, they will share with you their inspirational story of how Erin Gruwell changed the lives of Maria Reyes and 149 other disadvantaged students who, despite seemingly impossible circumstances, overcame a background of poverty, violence, and racism. Erin Gruwell transformed her students’ lives. She encouraged them to re-think rigid beliefs about themselves and others, to reconsider daily decisions, and to re-chart their futures. With Erin’s support, her students shattered stereotypes to become critical thinkers, aspiring college students, and citizens for change. They dubbed themselves the “Freedom Writers” — in homage to civil rights activists The Freedom Riders — and went on to publish a number one New York Times best-selling book. Deemed “unteachable” and not expected to graduate high school, all of the 150 original Freedom Writer students went on to receive their diplomas, and many graduated from college. Their inspirational story illustrates the power that one has to transform lives and make a world of difference. The lessons Erin and Maria learned — and now share with us — can help every employee assistance professional make a difference in their own world.
The image on the original recording is not clear but the audio is fine.