Oscar De La Hoya: The American Dream
By Vikram Birring (Dec 4, 2008) DoghouseBoxing.com (Photo © Laura De La Torre)  
When Oscar De La Hoya was growing up, he witnessed an area of abject poverty every day.

East Los Angeles, California, has the highest concentration of Mexicans outside of Mexico. It is a land ripe with crime and drugs. Only one in four children graduates high school and the number who graduate college could probably be counted on one hand.

There is a theory that poor Americans are at least poor in the richest country in the world. Tell this to a poor person and the response will likely be a glare, at best.

Being poor is hell, the old phrase goes, and to make it out of poverty is equivalent to climbing out of gaping quicksand, a nearly impossible struggle.

Oscar De La Hoya won an Olympic gold medal, a remarkable achievement for any athlete, but what he has done professionally is so beyond even what he thought he could do.

He has been a champion in six weight classes, and made enough money for a million lifetimes.

But his true achievements lie outside a boxing ring.

He formed Oscar De La Hoya high school in his old neighborhood, knowing that not all kids have the heart or desire to fight for a living. Instead their talent can be utilized with textbooks. As fellow champion Wladimir Klitschko states to children in his own Ukraine: Education = hope.

So in a few years, when the first child who started as a young kid in De La Hoya’s school graduates from a university and maybe one day, becomes a CEO of a Fortune 500 company, Oscar’s goal will have come full circle.

To receive is easy; to give is difficult, but virtuous. All hail The Golden Boy for giving the power of education back to the kids that need it the most.

Questions or comments,
Vikram at: vikram.birring@gmail.com

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