Manuel Scott

Manuel Scott

  • Original Freedom Writer
  • His story featured in the 2007 movie, Freedom Writers
  • One of the most ‘in demand’ keynote speakers today
    Travels from Atlanta, GA

Keynote Fee: Contact Forte Speakers

Manual (Manny) Scott

“When I was fourteen, I dropped out of high school. I was sitting on a park bench. Helpless, hurting, and hopeless, I was thinking about doing something that would have gotten me incarcerated or killed. The ending of my story seemed certain. But a total stranger sat down next to me, and helped me see that my story wasn’t over, and inspired me to change my life. From that moment, I turned the page and began writing a new chapter in my life. And that has made all the difference.” – Manny Scott

Students contemplate suicide, educators teeter on the edge of giving up, and thousands of others feel all alone, without hope. They feel as though their stories are over. Ink was founded to help them see that their stories—their lives—can get better. Through speeches, seminars, books and other media, Manny Scott empowers audiences and individuals everywhere to turn the page, step-by-step, and write new, more fulfilling chapters in their lives.

An original Freedom Writer whose story is told in part in the 2007 hit movie, Freedom Writers, Manny Scott has energized over a million students, educators, and leaders worldwide with his authentic, inspiring messages of hope. He is the speaker of choice for schools, conferences, conventions, and banquets.

By age 16, Manny felt his story was over: His father was incarcerated, he missed 60-90 days of school annually from 4th to 9th grade, he dropped out of school at age 14, he lived in 26 places by age 16, and his best friend was brutally murdered. Sensing that the end of his life was near, Manny sat down on a park bench.

Then, a man—a complete stranger—took a risk, and sat down beside Manny. That man helped him see that his story could change, that his future could be better than his past. “Just because you live in the “hood,” the “hood” doesn’t have to live in you.” “You can’t control what happens to you, but you can control your response.” “You can become the father you never had, and the man you’ve never met.” “You can create a future better than your past.”

Manny Scott turned the page that day on a park bench. He returned to school with a new attitude and purpose, and ended up in the back of Erin Gruwell’s English class-—a group now known worldwide as the Freedom Writers, portrayed in the 2007 hit MTV movie.

In his journal, Manny began writing, and dreaming about, new, more fulfilling chapters in his life—chapters filled with healing, hope, perseverance, and possibility.

Manny has achieved many of those journaled dreams. He is now a happy, faithful husband, a doting father of three, a successful entrepreneur, a Ph.D. student, and one of the nation’s most sought after speakers.

Manny now inspires others to turn the page, and equips them to write new, more fulfilling chapters in their lives.

“I do not speak to impress people,” Manny explains, “but to impress upon them some invaluable lessons that could literally change the quality of their lives forever. When I speak, I try to make sure audiences are crystal clear about how to ‘turn the page’- to transform their lives. Whether I’m in Houston or Hong Kong, Kansas City or Cairo, Los Angeles or London, I carry a torchlight of inspiration into the recesses of dormant potential, and show the gems that are sparkling there.”

“When it comes to carrying the message of poverty, gangs, drugs, abuse and the hopelessness experienced by far too many of our children today, no one tells it better than Manny Scott.”  Masie Bross, Whiz Kid

Manny Scott is helping people change their lives all over the globe.



In this program, Manny shares, step-by-step, several proven practices and principles that engage, equip, and empower people everywhere to reach youth. Based on his doctoral research and own life experiences, Manny explains: how to develop real relationships; how to grab the attention of your intended audience; and, how to persuade others to turn the page and take proactive steps to improve the quality of their lives.

4 Proven Ways to Position Your Child for Success

Do you want to help your child succeed in school and in life? Or, do you know a parent who needs some encouragement, or a wake-up call? In thispresentation, Manny touches hearts, informs minds, and empowers parents everywhere to do 4 things that will absolutely position children to succeed.

Manuel’s customizable keynotes touch the heart, enlighten the mind, and spark creative change. He works closely with you to make sure your goals are met and lives are changed.


“Powerful and engaging, the message rings loud and clear. With his own hard work and dedication, coupled with the encouragement and support of Erin Gruwell, Manuel has embodied the true spirit of the Freedom Writers’ Mission.  I have personally had the pleasure of working with Manuel on several occasions, and it’s clear to me that his passion and commitment comes straight from the heart. Manuel delivers an inspiring message; one that every student and teacher should hear.” James Sanfilippo, President and CEO of Clear Lam Packaging

“I was struck by the extraordinary ability Manuel has with communicating his story to the public. His gift of storytelling is what really inspired me most.” Joe Ahern, President and General Manager of CBS 2 CHICAGO

“Manny’s is an against-the-odds story of immeasurable courage, strength and determination overcoming extreme adversity. His testimonial leaves audiences not only awed and inspired, but also moved towards change. No one who hears Manny’s incredible story will ever be the same.” Masie Bross, Director of Whiz Kids, Inc.

“Manuel Scott was outstanding! We can’t see how you will ever be able to top him!” Thomas Ewing, Volunteer, Denver, CO

“Thank you so much for touching us with life-giving words! You blessed us with a reminder about what is at stake in the work we do—transformation!” Laura G, Teacher in Indianapolis, IN

“The remarks you made are the reasons I went into teaching. Our school district is still talking about your wonderful words.” Julia W., Waukegan, IL

“Your message of hope was very inspiring and just what I needed to remind me of why I chose this profession.” – Katrina A., Boise, ID

“Given the success of Manuel Scott’s interactions with our students and teachers locally, I would strongly recommend and encourage opportunities for him to visit other public school districts across the nation. Particularly those districts in urban areas, with large populations of disadvantaged students, who could benefit greatly from hearing his “awe inspiring” message of hope, the value of intrinsic motivation and personal determination in ‘beating the odds.’ Manuel’s not only an excellent role model for students but an inspiration to us all!” Alan J. Ingram, Ed.D. Executive Director of Federal Programs, Oklahoma City Public Schools