COMMUNITY LEADERS RESPOND TO RAMON’S STORY
“I had Ramon speak to our Stanford University Rotary Club members, and he was very concise, clear, and most importantly, emotionally moving. Everyone was in tears after his talk. His presentation was truly excellent. He was easily one of our club’s most motivational and inspirational speakers, not an easy accomplishment since our club is populated with Stanford, Berkeley, and Ivy League alumni from the professional and educational ranks.”
– NOE PABLO LOZANO, PHD, ASSOCIATE DEAN FOR STUDENT AFFAIRS AND DIRECTOR, ENGINEERING DIVERSITY PROGRAMS, STANFORD UNIVERSITY, PALO ALTO, CA
“Dr. Resa inspires all who know him … And after reading his book, she wrote ‘I have now had a chance to read your book. It is splendid. It inspires the reader in many ways. I hope millions have a chance to read it. Congratulations on making your life an inspiration.‘”
– SANDRA DAY O’CONNOR, RETIRED SUPREME COURT JUSTICE (2012)
“It was a great honor to have you launch the very first Festival to Schools. Your personal story touched the heart and spirit of more than 2300 students. Middle school students had the opportunity to engage with you through your thought-provoking conversation with them. Not only did you motivate students to be more than they could imagine, but you expanded students’ world views and took their critical thinking to higher levels.
Response to your presentations has been positively overwhelming. Following both the Festival to Schools and the Student Literary Days, my office received emails and letters from teachers and students sharing their testimonials. One teacher indicated the Festival inspired students to write and volunteer.
I cannot begin to express in words how meaningful your influence has been on these young adults.”
-NANCY KOTOWSKI PH.D, MONTEREY COUNTY SUPERINTENDENT OF SCHOOLS, (2012)
“I am the founder of the Carmel Authors and Ideas Festival. In past years the list of speakers includes Sandra Day O’Connor, Condoleezza Rice, Dave Barry, and many other prominent celebrities. I could have 30 name-speakers lined up to spend the weekend in Carmel. But, that isn’t my goal.
“My goal is to get people you have never heard of. And you listen to them for 20 minutes and you walk away and say “Wow! Who was that guy?
The standard-bearer for that type of moment occurred 2 years ago, when I invited Central Valley Pediatrician Ramon Resa to speak at the Carmel, Authors and Ideas Festival.
Dr. Resa was invited back to this year’s festival. His moving performance last year prompted students at the Student Day event to come up to him and offer hugs, unsolicited; and request from the teachers to speak at their schools so other students have a chance to hear his inspirational message that through persistence, you can overcome any obstacle.”
-JAMES P. MCGILLEN, FOUNDER 2012
“Thank you so much for visiting Delano High School and for sharing your inspiring story of how attitude and perseverance can help someone overcome even the most challenging of obstacles. While listening to you, I was filled with gratitude for the teachers who have impacted my life for good and who inspired me to become an educator myself. I also thought of my own students and how within each one of them is a heart and mind filled with untapped potential and how even the most unlikely of students could be the next doctor, lawyer, politician, or teacher. The power of your words continued to inspire our staff and students even today. It is rare that a speaker can touch the hearts of both staff and students in a unique way, but you accomplished that during your special message on Wednesday. Teachers were inspired to find the next Dr. Resa sitting in their classrooms, and students became more determined than ever to pursue their dreams. Thank you again for visiting our school, and I look forward to having you visit again in the future!”
-APRIL GREGERSON, PRINCIPAL OF DELANO HIGH SCHOOL
“The Migrant Program, Region 14 had Dr. Ramon Resa come speak to our Migrant students at the annual Delano High School College Awareness assembly. Dr. Resa shared his life story with students from growing up in the central valley and dealing with many social and personal issues that could have easily deterred him from graduating from high school, to similar obstacles that he faced during his college, pre-med and his first years as a resident doctor. As he spoke, the more than 1800 students were tentatively listening to Dr. Resa’s incredible life journey. His message about not ever giving up no matter what really resonated in many of our students. The following day many of those students shared with their teachers Dr. Resa’s inspiring story and that it really motivated them to work hard because may could relate to how Dr. Resa grew up. His speech was about 20 minutes long, but within those 20 minutes his message was clear to students: life will put a share of insurmountable obstacles that can really derail our hopes and dreams, but with a good support system and the belief of oneself one can overcome anything! The Migrant Program, Region 14 is grateful to Dr. Resa to provide such an inspiring message to our students. We would welcome him back at any time to come speak to our students again.”
-JESUS GONZALEZ, DIRECTOR
“Ramon Resa’s telling of his Story was one of the most inspirational experiences I have had in my life. After I heard him tell his story, including how much it meant for one person to say, “You are smart enough to go to college,” I decided I had no excuses for putting off mentoring. I’m just starting to mentor my second student, and when I meet with him, Ramon’s experience comes to mind.”
-PHILIP ROSE, CITY MANAGER, LOS ALTOS, CA
“Ramon Resa’s story is one of the most uplifting, inspiring and fulfilling ones I know of. Dr. Resa’s sincerity, dedication, and the love he feels for all despite his many hardships, shine through in every word.”
“Ramon’s story will light a flame in those who care about children, and in the children who are fortunate enough to hear him. He exemplifies a person who will successfully face adversity and try to attain the impossible. I would certainly recommend him as an inspirational speaker for adults as well as children.”
–LINDA WAUD, PSYD, HEAD COORDINATOR, MENTORING PROGRAM, PARTNERS FOR NEW GENERATIONS, MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA
Recently, Dr. Ramon Resa told the story of his journey “out of the fields” from farm worker boy to pediatrician to students at Watsonville (CA) High School. Here are some of the letters students sent him in their own words.
“When we are faced with great challenges and extreme difficulties, one does not need to run away or to look so far away, but merely to tap the shoulder of a friend, a teacher or anyone with a heart willing to listen. As teachers we should try to be attuned to those silent cries and needs of our students. My students were amazed by Ramon, a man with the courage to share some very tragic experiences. They were even more amazed that with such perseverance one can be very successful in life.”
–Amparo Q. Alvarez, Teacher of Foreign Languages, Watsonville High School, Watsonville, CA
“I liked everything you talked about. It’s really nice to know that a Mexican who didn’t have much to start with is now a doctor. I think you give HOPE to all the students that want to be someone in life by sharing your personal story. Thank you!”
–Sincerely, Catalina M.
“I loved the way you made your presentation. I think it was really cool how you told us that you went from almost nothing to a great pediatrition. Before you started talking I thought that you came from a wealthy family. I would have never imagined that you worked in the fields. I love that fact that you are really into children. I would like to become a pediatrition to. But I’m not sure yet. Theres people that become doctors just because of the money. But not you and that’s great! ♥”
“Your presentation was great. You told us about some hard events in your life. Also some great events in your life. Your a great model for me because you never gave up on your goal. Now that you told us that you made it to your goal. I’m not giving up on mine. I’ve been through a hard life to and I understand you.”
“Most of the time you see successfull people you think that they were just made like that, you never imagine all the struggles they went through….All in all I found your presentation funny, interesting, and inspiring.”
–Thank you, K.S.
“Your story was really inspiring. It showed that anyone can go to college, all that person has to do is believe in himself/herself. Just like you did. Now I know that I can go to college.”
“I really want to thank you for telling us your story. I didn’t really wanted to go to college. But after hearing your story I really want to go to college…because I want a good future for me and for my future kids. Thank you a lot, Dr. Resa.”
“It was nice of you to attend and share with us your successful career and your experiances in life. From your presentation I gaind more confidence in wanting to attend a university and persew my goal. Now I know that everything is possible.”
“I really enjoyed your presentation here last week at Watsonville High. It was really inspiring to me. It showed me that you can do anything you want to no matter if people tell you you can’t….I thank you for sharing your story with us all. It really inspired me to want to go to college and get far in life.”
“You really made me think that I should keep going to college and get a good job. I shouldn’t give up. I think your great because you help kids out. Your kids are very lucky that you could pay for what ever school they want to go to. My parents can’t afford it so it’s kind of hard for me…I’m looking forward to reading your book and watching the movie.”
–Sincerely, Patty M.
“Hi, my name is Teagan ____ and I went to the Authors and Ideas Festival on Sept. 22nd. Thank you so much for coming. I was entirely inspired by your story.
I grew up in a small migrant town called Soledad. My mother is a kindergarten teacher at a school in Soledad. I’m white. Yes, I’m a gringa- the “spoiled” white kid who was beat up in kindergarten through 4thgrade by kids older than me. Yes, I was the only white kid at the school, except for my younger brother, who was 2 when I started school.
For some crazy insane reason, I felt connected to you more than any other speaker, yet you and I are completely different, like toothpaste and orange juice. When I’m old and my hair is the same color of my skin, I will never forget your speech.
P.S. I was the girl who looked lost after the speech. You smiled at me- then again, you probably smiled at everyone!”
-LETTER FROM A 7th GRADER