This student feels happy to have experienced his first real vacation, since he has always had to go to summer school. When the group gets off the bus, this student is surprised to see that his parents are there to greet him, since they always thinks he is bad and gets himself in trouble. They drive home and he realizes that everyone he knows has come to his house to hear his stories about the trip, congratulating him and visibly happy to see him. He describes the various activities they took part in and is proud to hear people compliment him and say he is a role model for both his family and the world.
The change in this student’s parents’ attitude demonstrates the real-life impact that Ms. Gruwell’s teaching has on the community as a whole, in addition to the students themselves. His family’s enthusiasm demonstrates that people can recognize positive change and feel inspired by one person’s transformation. This enthusiasm, in turn, could inspire them to change—in the same way that the Freedom Writers’ role models have led the students to trust in their potential to do good.