Cesar Chavez's Son Stresses the Importance of Education

Now here's some good advice: Cesar Chavez’s oldest son, Fernando Chavez, spoke some words of wisdom as the honored guest at Cesar Chavez Elementary School in Los Angeles on Monday.

He recalled his father, a civil rights icon, telling him and his eight siblings: “Once you’re educated, nobody can take that way from you.”

NBC Latino reports that Chavez attended the school to unveil a mural tributing his father. The painting is a collective work between Mexican-American artist Simon Silva rents from the school. It was painted by young students, primarily from the third and fourth grades. 

Chavez is an immigration rights attorney who sits on the Board of the Directors of the school’s after-school program After-School All-Stars Los Angeles. He said his father taught him the importance of being a voice for those who cannot speak for themselves, and instilled in him a firm belief in the importance of education.

He passed this message along to the children. He said, “I was telling the children when I was a young boy -- probably 13 or 14 -- my father had never given me a gift before, but he gave me a book, and I was bewildered.” He continued, telling how he tried to read the first pages, but was lost. It wasn’t until college -- after he'd been educated --  that he was able to read the whole book -- it was The Brothers Karamazov.

This gift symbolized to Chavez the importance his father placed on education.

He said he spoke at the school to provide the Latino students with a positive role model. “I think this is a very good opportunity for them to learn about who Cesar Chavez was and what he represented not only to the Latino community but to society in general,” he said.

He further explained how his father’s influence inspired him to devote his life to immigration law. Hopefully, his influence can inspire the children in a similar way!

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