April 15, 2016 – Students at Bessie E. Owens Intermediate School received a surprise visit from public speaker Tracy Martin this week. Martin is the father of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, and now uses his son’s passing as motivation to share the message of hope, respect, and love with communities across the country.
“I am here to talk about the importance of love, the importance of respect of life, and the importance of education,” said Martin.
Martin was in Bakersfield to speak at a lecture hosted by California State University, Bakersfield. But when approached by school officials, he gladly accepted the invitation to speak with the younger crowd earlier in the day.
“It is important to learn and develop respect and values at an early age,” said Martin. “We need to share the importance of setting goals in education and in life, and be prepared to work and be dedicated to achieving them.”
Many students did not know who Martin was, but were happy with the visit, and understood his message well.
“It is very important to treat others how you want to be treated,” said student Kalaysia Belt. “Respect life and the lives of others.”