Skip to main content

A Message from Jorge

I am so grateful for everyone who came to the virtual book launch for Letters From the Inside: Hope in the Journey Beyond Classroom and Cell. In conversation with author Mitali Perkins, also a friend of Jorge, my co-author, we had a conversation full of hope and promise.

If you missed it, you can watch the video

Of course, there was a very important person missing from the celebration: Jorge, my co-author. He will be incarcerated for at least another eight years. He wrote this message to all of you: 

Although I cannot physically be present to discuss this book and my life, I hope you all can understand a life of a boy who was traumatized, hurting, and craving love and affection from those who were around. Growing up in the environment I was raised in was not easy and until today it is not easy. It’s been told that people like “me” who were in the wrong path, are set to fail. Most children do not get a fair chance to succeed, often times they are judged. But before judging a struggling kid, I want you all to remember that there is a deeper issue beyond the bad grades and bad attitude. 

Children of all ages, act a certain way because it’s their way of crying for help. Instead of abandoning a kid, or making them feel like they are any less than a straight A student, I ask you all to have patience and lend a helping hand to kids who is in the same position as I was. Kids need to feel motivated, believed in and most importantly that no matter what goes on in their neighborhood, they are still worth fighting for. I hope you all are able to see what it is to grow up in a low income neighborhood, where there is violence and lack of resources in schools. But most importantly how being in a dysfunctional family can have an impact on our actions that often times lead us into temptation. By reading my story and following up with some of the letters I write, I hope you all can learn some of the signs of a kid who is hurt deep down but is to afraid to speak up for himself/herself. 

I ask that if you come in contact with one of those children or teens, do not look the other way. Please help them, because it only takes one person to uplift and be a positive role model in their life. Thank you for taking the time to follow my journey through these books and for listening to my life story. I hope you all love the book as much as I do. Thank you and be safe.

-Jorge Ramirez



Popular posts from this blog

Why Teachers are Afraid to Go Back

  Opening schools to in-person learning is an extremely emotionally charged topic right now for parents and teachers both, and for good reason. With almost half a million Americans dead of COVID and worries about mental health crises from isolation very serious, there seem to be no good answers. In fact, one of my students recently told me that “there are no good options. There are only less worse options.” If the science says it’s safe and the district has a plan, which where I live has been approved by our very conservative Alameda County Public Health Department, then why aren’t all teachers excited about going back?  As a former classroom teacher, I want to explain this. Hint: It’s not about the science. The first thing you learn as a teacher is that you won’t make enough money. We joke about needing a rich spouse or family money but it’s not actually funny, because it’s so often true, especially for beginning teachers. The reason I am no longer in the classroom is becaus

COVID in prison

 I have been a bit MIA because I broke my ankle on Thanksgiving (hiked back out two miles on a broken ankle!) and had surgery. So I forgot to worry that I hadn't heard from Jorge, my former student and co-author in prison, in a while. Turns out that I was right to worry, as he contracted COVID although seems to have made a full recovery. I got a letter from him today that he said I could share parts of. I'd like to highlight the very last paragraph. This young man was suffering from COVID, totally cut off from all his loved ones, scared and in prison, and he remembered to ask after my family and worry if we are feeling lonely. He is a remarkable person. ------------- Sorry for the late reply, there's been so much that's been going on since I got to this prison.... As you know, before quarantining when I got to this place for two weeks, I did it at SATF for two weeks also. So in total I quarantined for a month and my tests came back negative. After the two weeks here I g