Here is an article that I would like to share as I continue presenting staff developments for educator and motivation keynote to students. I hope you enjoy it
High school seniors inspired to attend college
THE PORTERVILLE RECORDER
A gymnasium packed to capacity with seniors from 13 different high schools cheered as keynote speaker Richard Santana “Señor Chocolate” stepped to the center of the basketball court Wednesday morning during Porterville College Senior Day.
After joking with the seniors, Santana shared his story.
“Life is right around the corner. I can only hope you’re going to be ready,” Santana said. “When I was your age, I never thought of college. My goal was not getting killed and not getting locked up.”
Santana, founder of “Homeboy Goes to Harvard Productions,” was a former gang member who earned a master’s degree from Harvard University because “someone took a chance” and believed in him.
“Someone saw something inside me that I could not see myself,” he said as he praised teachers, counselors, administrators, ministers and parents for encouraging students.
Known as Señor Chocolate, Santana began his presentation dressed as a tough-talking Latino gangster in baggy pants, trench coat and shades. But as he talked about future goals and college, he began to shed his clothes and emerged in beige dress slacks, a white dress shirt and tie.
The crowd appeared to be taking in every word as they listened attentively to his talk.
“He’s very interesting,” said Mercedes Lisenbery of Monache High. “His story is very interesting — the way he went from gangster to college and everything. And he was so funny. It was interesting seeing the major change and difference college made in his life.”
Christian Perez and Sacramento Ceballos, seniors at Porterville High School, agreed, saying they enjoyed the way he motivates students into believing that they can do anything they want. Both said they enjoyed watching the transformation and how he changed his lifestyle.
Esmeralda Duran, a PC student working at the event, said she can still remember listening to Santana in 2008 when she was a senior at Strathmore High.
“I remember being where they are now and wondering what I was going to do in life,” Duran said. “I think this really helps them. It opens a lot of windows by making them see the difference college can make.”