Man who inspired Obama shares message of hope

Carlos Saavedra with Teri White Head of English at Kenilworth School and David Pearce Year 12 student.
Carlos Saavedra with Teri White Head of English at Kenilworth School and David Pearce Year 12 student.

Pupils had their eyes opened to a world of possibilities by an inspirational man credited with helping securing Barack Obama’s re-election.

Human rights campaigner Carlos Saavedra spoke to students at Castle Sixth Form on Tuesday morning in what was described as an ‘inspirational insight’ into his fight.

Carlos Saavedra at Kenilworth School

Carlos Saavedra at Kenilworth School

The 26-year-old is the former coordinator of United We Dream, an influential immigrant rights activism group in America.

He was credited with almost single-handedly changing the direction of Obama’s immigration policy by gaining support from the president for the Dream Act - or development, relief and education for alien minors- back in 2012.

The move was cited as crucial to winning the American president 71 per cent of the Latino vote in 2012.

And in hope of inspiring young people to make a difference and help change their world, Carlos came to the school to spread word of his anti-race campaign, ‘Hope not Hate’.

As part of the UK-wide tour, the campaigner is hoping to spread his message to students and politicians alike in hope of making a difference to immigration and relationships at every level.

The Peru-born activist told the students how he grew up in America with no passport or right to go to university or travel abroad, leaving him desperate for change for him and others in his situation.

He went on to explain how his determination led to campaigning to help get 1.4 million undocumented students in America on a path to education and citizenship.

Teacher Teri Whie, head of English, described the talk as “inspirational” for all those who came out to enjoy it.

He said: “He was very excited to share his story and message of hope to the students from the sixth form and pupils at school, who were inspired and motivated by his journey.”

Mr Saavedra will continue his UK tour over the next few weeks, speaking to MPs and officials in hope of creating more positive moves around immigration and challenging negative attitudes.