Freedom Writer – Manuel Scott is an original freedom writer. He dropped out of school and his English was so poor he was classified as an ESL student. He had a rough childhood, which included drug and alcohol abuse at an early age. He credits his placement in Erin Gruwell’s (Hillary Swank plays Erin in the movie Freedom Writers) class at a school in California as a factor in turning his life around. He holds two degrees and is working on his Ph.D. His story is one of courage, strength and determination to overcome adversity.