James Wang – Student from Dr. Hickman’s Social Sciences 30 class, Solano Community College

Dear Mr. Mora,

Thank you for stopping by and sharing about your life and your experiences. I admire you sir for having the courage and strength to want change while being able to accomplish so much to become a mentor just like your friend Emilio. Because you believed in yourself and the people around you; you were able to work hard to get your diplomas, degrees, and several other awards something that I don’t see myself being able to accomplish if I were in your shoes. So in that aspect I respect your dedication and conviction to better yourself and to give back to the community by mentoring and educating others in their paths in life.

You mentioned in your discussion how your parents were drawn to the United States because of the iconized imagery that is the American Dream, and in a similar manner so were my parents. They, along with my entire family, were drawn here also by the lure of prosperity and status that the American Dream represented; only to find out that they still had to work just as hard if they stayed in Korea to better their lives. The only difference being a language barrier that not all of my family members were able to overcome, so they had been more disadvantaged than if they had remained. I think the American Dream with the nuclear family and the white picket fence that comes with it is an antiquated notion that doesn’t always come true for everyone. And while some families or individuals might find success it won’t be true for everyone and the outcome that awaits them is just continuing where they left off in their homelands but with another culture and language surrounding them.

I’d like to thank you again for coming Mr. Mora and sharing with us. By continuing to educate and mentor others you were able to make a change to the community through your music and other mediums. I hope that in the future I’ll be able to accomplish at least some of what you have and leave my impact in my community. Also congratulations on turning thirty.

Sincerely,

James Wang

Student from Dr. Hickman’s Social Sciences 30 class, Solano Community College

Dr. Karen McCord  and Dr. Ella Tolliver

Mr. Mora,

It was a great honor to welcome you to Solano College and hear  you speak at the 10th Annual Peace Summit held Solano Community College on Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2015 and I am extremely grateful to Judge Thompson for recommending you to us.  Both students and faculty  were thoroughly engaged throughout both of your presentations. We have received many favorable comments from students and they personally  requested your return. Your delivery style, personal history and candor allowed students, not only to relate, but encouraged, and inspired! You very effectively wove spoken word, poetry and interactive lecture into yourpresentation and captured the attention of  a very diverse audience. You are a wonderful individual, speaker and educator. Your ability to relate across cultures, age and socioeconomic diversity was extraordinary! Your presentation provided a great boost for our students and enabled them  to realize that experiencing life challenges does not mean you give up!

On behalf of Solano Community College, the Umoja Program and our sponsors we thank you for the memorable, enlightening and stimulating presentations. You have truly persevered and your willingness to be transparent and speak your heart has provided a solid foundation to transform the lives of many. Your personal life story is especially intriguing and motivating. We hope you will return again and again to share with our students. I am confident that you have made a difference in their lives!

Dr. Karen McCord  and Dr. Ella Tolliver

Sara Anderson, Sofia Diaz-Antuna, Osiris Ortiz, Ramiro Medrano, The 2011 Youth Empowerment Committee

Daniel Mora’s motivational presentation

Sometimes the best feedback come from those who have put time and energy organizing a youth conference or community event.  Here are some words from an organizer regarding a motivational keynote presentation by Daniel Mora.

On behalf of the Youth Empowerment Conference planning committee, we would like to thank you for making our event on April 16th, 2011, a success. Your keynote address was amazing and touched so many of the students, parents, and staff. Your story was touching and gave an example of how it’s never too late to get on track. During the lunch portion of the day, a large number of the students personally approached us and commented on how much you inspired them. We cannot thank you enough for accepting this speaking engagement.

There were approximately 150 students in attendance and about 20 parents, as well as a number of educators and community members. Our hopes are that youth in attendance that day take with them a message of enlightenment – a reflection, if you wish – of what the future holds for them. These types of events are greatly needed in our community to uplift and motivate those students who have very few positive role-models; those students who are at the cusp of success or self-destruction due to the lack of inspirational individuals in their lives. We congratulate you because you have now become an inspiration to one of the students you met, or one of the desperate parents seeking guidance and with whom you shared information that day. One of the many obstacles our community faces are the lack of opportunities to get youth out and engage them in something that really interests them. We are hoping that students made a connection with you to keep in touch so you can offer them some kind of support in their endeavors to become the next great local artist, musician, organizer, performer, social worker, college professor, or community activist. You are the opportunity these students have been seeking – look at yourself in the smoking mirror. We deeply thank you for your support.

Sara Anderson, Sofia Diaz-Antuna, Osiris Ortiz, Ramiro Medrano, The 2011 Youth Empowerment Committee.

 Favianna Rodriguez, political artist, activist

I intercepted in Danny’s life at a key moment, and that is, when he was at the age of either going down the path of incarceration, or making some major changes on the path to success and self-fulfillment.

Favianna Rodriguez, political artist, activist

Susana, Former Mentee

A caring, thoughtful and friendly person that is always willing to help in anyway he can

Susana, Former Mentee

Dr. Macheo Payne, Educator, activist

A true example of community transformation from a place where, as Danny often states, Generation of a dying breed.

Dr. Macheo Payne, Educator, activist

Graduating Class of Berkley High School, CA

Daniel Mora was an excellent speaker. I was inspired with how honest and upfront he could be about his story. His experiences really made me think. It helped me look back at my life growing up and how everybody and everything in my life affected me. I liked that he was very interactive with the students and answered all the questions that were asked.

I admired his passion about what was going on in our society. He brought up things I never knew about. I loved how he integrated his personal experiences into his presentation. He was really moving because he emphasized the point that there is always a way, even if it’s not easy. Like after his tragic and harsh experiences growing up, he went to UC Berkeley and made something of himself. He was a great speaker, a lot more accessible than some we’ve had in the past. What he said was real and from the heart.

Graduating Class of Berkley High School, CA