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Statement on the Death of Jaime Escalante

March 31, 2010

I was saddened to hear about the passing of Jaime Escalante today. While most of us got to know him through the movie that depicted his work teaching inner-city students calculus, the students whose lives he changed remain the true testament to his life's work.

Throughout his career Jaime opened the doors of success and higher education for his students one by one and proved that where a person came from did not have to determine how far they could go. He instilled knowledge in his students, but more importantly he helped them find the passion and the will to fulfill their potential. Jaime's story became famous. But he represented countless, valiant teachers throughout our country whose great works are known only to the young people whose lives they change.

Michelle and I offer our condolences to Jaime's family and to all those who knew him and whose lives he touched.

Barack Obama, Statement on the Death of Jaime Escalante Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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