I met Dr. Resa nearly a dozen years ago at a National Speakers Association event designed to help authors and speakers learn to pitch their story to national news media. I was a member of a media panel which included an editor from The Huffington Post, myself (I’ve a Big TV news background) and a few other representatives from online news publications. Dr. Resa was an audience member at the event and during the Q&A time he stood up and asked me if I thought “Farmworker Boy to Pediatrician” was a good headline for a pitch to a national TV news outlet. Over my 20 plus years in journalism I’ve covered hundreds of stories which touched on a wide variety of issues, none of them prepared me for this question from Dr. Resa. Farmworker stories of any type were nearly absent from news covered by the Big TV network news shops I had worked for. Maybe this was part of why his story stopped me in my tracks. It sounded totally impossible, yet made me want to know more. I discovered that Dr. Resa’s journey was even more dramatic than he let on at first. Dr. Resa’s life story is not only awe inspiring, it’s timely and massively important due to it’s power to debunk negative stereotypes about Mexican American migrant workers.
Dr. Resa’s story especially resonates with any who have been overlooked, marginalized or dismissed by today’s society, not only migrant farmworkers and their children. Also the many children of all ethnicities growing up in foster care, or in troubled/broken families where poverty, neglect, abuse and failure is the norm, or kids who are the first in their family to aspire to enter college; the millions of inner city kids with nearly no opportunity for escaping the “hood” to make their lives better, and yes, the hundreds of thousands of children out laboring in the hot, dusty fields for low pay and little or no hope for advancement in life.
I passionately believe RAMON RISING audience members of all ages, ethnicities, and backgrounds will leave theaters after watching the film encouraged, empowered and knowing absolutely for certain they too can change their lives, their communities and the world for the better.
Jesse Gift | Executive Producer, Writer/Director of RAMON RISING