Goodbye Homeboy: How My Students Drove Me Crazy and Inspired a Movement
If I could give this book ten out of five stars, I would. This is a book that every school in America, especially in today’s volatile times, should be requiring students to read.
Steve Mariotti’s uplifting autobiography explains how he started the NFTE (the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship) and helped inner-city kids who were dealing drugs, some of whom were violent and some of whom could not even do basic math, to become award-winning entrepreneurs by relating to them and listening to their likes and dislikes. Mr. Mariotti also learned from his students along the way, including how they could walk down the street without being afraid or how they avoided flinching when someone bigger stepped into their space. His students made him laugh and cry.
But it wasn’t always easy for Steve. He started out at Boys and Girls High, where no one would listen to him. He would repeatedly be fired from his job, only to later be rehired. The neighborhoods he traveled in were dangerous and full of knife-wielding bullies ready to rob a person at a moment’s notice. By teaching one student at a time and seeing their growth, Mariotti persevered through the hardest times. He tells of two of his students who were very successful but because of the environment they were growing up in, were murdered for no reason whatsoever.
Mariotti’s mother, Nancy, had been a teacher as well. Steve knew that his mother was improving the lives of her students, too. One of my favorite parts of the book was when Steve finds a note from his mother after she has passed telling him that she and his father “will support you and love you whatever you decide to do with your life. Deep down, though, I sense that someday you may teach…” This foreshadowing gave me goosebumps, as did her closing sentiment, which is a quote that I will try to use in my life on a daily basis. Nancy Mason Mariotti states, “A great teacher affects eternity.”
The success stories that have come out of the NFTE are numerous. Multimillionaires and famous celebrities have taken NFTE courses. Where Steve Mariotti started from compared to where he is now and the number of lives he not only made better but may very well have saved can be considered a miraculous story. Sometimes, if you take someone who doesn’t have anything and really listen to their story, understand the whys and the wherefores, and focus on making the negatives into positives, you can inspire that person to become the next Bill Gates or Steve Jobs. Just because someone is growing up without money doesn’t mean that they have to succumb to their surroundings. Sometimes, it takes a teacher like Steve Mariotti, who doesn’t give up, for a person to realize his or her full potential. This book is a must-read for all generations today. The lessons it teaches are inspirational, motivating, and magical.
|Page Count||250 pages|
|Amazon||Buy this Book|
|Category||Biographies & Memoirs|