Glen has been a firefighter in Mesa Arizona for over 25 years, he also happens to be a teacher at my town’s community college. Two years ago he helped achieve one of my dreams when I became an EMT through his class. His dedication, courage, and commitment to his students and the people of his community is unparalleled. His life is driven by helping others.

When I was 18 months old, my father and my mother abandoned me and my two brothers in a 2-room mining-town house. Then, we were separated to be brought up by different relatives. These relatives did the bare minimum for us, partly because they were poor and partly because they resented the extra mouths to feed. I wore second-hand clothes, shoes with holes in them, sometimes no winter coat, but I managed to go to school where I made very good grades. My 6th grade teacher saw something in me and took me “under her wing.” When I needed something, she somehow found it. Her care did not end at the 6th grade. When I was 18, she loaned me a typewriter so I could take a government test, and her nephew drove me to the test center. I passed! I then had a 25-year career with the Social Security Adm., retiring as an Operations Supervisor.

Had I not had the help of my teacher, I probably would have stayed in that small town. Nothing wrong with that, but they lived in poverty. I had seen enough of that.

I have been ever grateful to my teacher who was like an angel to me.

I am a teacher and I work every day to try to make a difference in my students’ lives. Last year, my class size nearly doubled. Although I tried as hard as I could, it was impossible to give each student the individual attention they’re entitled to. Every night as I graded papers, I was reminded that these students deserve so much more than a grade on a paper. These seniors and juniors deserve face to face time, guidance, caring, someone who believes in them. Cut our jobs? You have no idea. Come and visit. I believe that my President understands the need of our young people. It is a shame that you do not. Perhaps you should listen to the advice I give to my students: Think before you speak.
I should have been one of those kids who just don’t make it in school. I came to the us at 15 years of age from Cuba and Spain. I began my sophomore year of high school in Hacienda Heights, Ca. Not being able to communicate with my peers and teachers was one of the most frustrating experiences of my life. It just seem too hard to overcome. That is when my English teacher came to my rescue. She made me see how what I knew in Spanish connected to what I needed to learn in my classes in English. She made me realize that I was a smart and capable individual who could overcome this one hurdle. I am a PhD today and a literacy teacher.
When in high school, my English teacher believed in me. I never knew I was a good writer until someone told me I could write. I never knew I was a good speaker until someone told me I could speak well. Mr. Doyle let me know and encouraged me. Mr. Doyle inspired me to be a teacher - I have taken his inspiration and inspired others in my path as a teacher. This year I will be a principal.
Teaching is one of the hardest and THE MOST NECESSARY job there is. There’s really no way to work your way around that one.
Firefighters saved my best friend’s life. On a cold, rainy evening, my friend hit a patch of black ice on the road. His truck flipped off the overpass he was on and fell onto the roadway below. He had broken both legs, an arm, and his jaw, and had gashes on his head and neck. The doctors told him he would have bled to death in less than 3 minutes if help didn’t arrive. Had there not been a fire and rescue squad nearby, he wouldn’t be here.
My dad is a policeman and he is a man I repect very very much. He cares so much for his role in the police. Unfortunately after working 25+ years in the police, he is being forced to retire in January. I can already see this breaking his heart. He is only 52. He’s is so passionate about his police role that our family worry what he’s going to do when he can no longer be a policeman.