I met Dr. Resa a dozen years ago at a National Speakers Association event for authors and speakers who were seeking to learn how to pitch their story to national news media. I was the national television news member on a panel of media professionals enlisted to provide insight and coaching to the group. During my Q&A time Dr. Resa asked me to critique his pitch headline, “My Journey from Farmworker Boy to Pediatrician”.
I’ve covered hundreds of news stories touching on a wide variety of issues during the many years I spent working in national TV news. None of them prepared me for hearing what Dr. Resa had to overcome. How could a migrant child agriculture worker go on to become a doctor? As he told me more about his journey, I realized his inspiring story must to be told to the widest audience possible. What Dr. Resa has accomplished shines a glaring spotlight on the flawed metrics our society uses (which influences all of us even unintentionally) to predict who will and will not be successful in life. We have a variety of measurements that we use to rank everyone. It begin early in our lives and goes something like this: These kids are the bright ones, over here, they are pretty average kids and then of course we find the less than promising students unlikely to make a contribution. Everyone gets a rating but do we really know these things for certain or is it a huge mistake?
Dr. Resa’s story debunks the current negative narrative and stereotypes about Latinos, refugees and immigrants, especially migrant agricultural laborers. While producing this film our eyes have been opened to see that his story is one among many similar success stories in the community. More than a just a few others with similar backgrounds have gone on to contribute mightily to our world (see high profile appearances). Why haven’t we heard their stories before now? This film will change all that!
I passionately believe audience members of all ages, ethnicities and backgrounds will leave theaters better equipped to perceive and appreciate the human dignity and potential in every person no matter their background or family income level and will be inspired to make their own lives, their communities and the world better.
Jesse Gift | RAMON RISING Executive Producer, Writer/Director, Editor