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The 66 year old explained to the kids that he had always dedicated himself fully to whatever he loved beginning with baseball, then dancing and singing before finally beginning the acting career that catapulted him to international stardom.
with the national organization also made a lot of sense, Olmos said, pointing out that the void CASAs fill is extensive and would likely go unnoticed if not for volunteer advocates.
Olmos said while there were many obstacles to overcome as a Mexican American working in the United States, his hard work finally won out.
Olmos echoed Villarreal's sentiments when he took the stage.
He has won two Golden Globes and an Emmy on top of dozens more awards and nominations during his 30 year acting career, so when he stepped forward to speak after being honored as the Stand and Deliver Champion for Children at Wednesday's local Court Appointed Special Advocates fundraiser at the Amigoland Convention Center, it wasn't surprising when he shared his thanks with those gathered.
Olmos continued to give of himself Thursday morning, when he danced his way into the media center of La Paloma Elementary Guess Belts For Ladies
Still, among his many acclaimed works Olmos said the one that mattered the most was his Oscar nominated performance as Jaime Escalante in "Stand and Deliver," a 1988 film based on the true story of a teacher in East Los Angeles who shows a group of underserved high schoolers their true potential through advanced math.
Villarreal recounted the struggles of the children he was assigned to his children as they bounced from foster home to foster home across Texas.
Olmos is the spokesman for the national CASA organization, which works to encourage, train and support volunteers who are assigned to get to know and represent children in the foster care system who otherwise may slip through the cracks of the legal process.
"I learned to do the things I loved to do when I didn't feel like doing them," he said, contrasting it with a daily hygiene regimen. "None of us really like to brush our teeth, but we do it because we have to. You can do anything seven days a week that Hermes Belt H Buckle you love to do."
"I don't have the face that belongs on the big screen, so how did I get it there?" he said, again referencing his work ethic. "They didn't write roles for Mexican Americans. They still don't. I have to write them myself."
And while those big budget flicks have made millions of dollars, Olmos says "'Stand and Deliver' made a lot of sense," leading it to inspire CASA's fundraiser where hundreds turned out for the event to benefit CASA of Cameron and Willacy Counties.
"It's the most rewarding and fulfilling way to live," he said of his time with CASA, noting that he learned selflessness from his mother, who worked as a nurse. "I learned to give of myself to others."
Olmos says it's been viewed more times than "Avatar," the "Star Wars" movies or other blockbusters as teachers and students by the thousands watch the movie in classrooms each semester.
"The system tries to keep bad people out," he said, "but they're in there."
Looking out into the crowd, the Academy Award nominee thanked the CASA volunteers of Cameron and Willacy counties for their work speaking out for children who often have no voice in court.
From that persistence, he earned roles and accolades, Olmos Lv Belt Cheap
"And now they can't stop me," he said.
Especially in cases like the ones volunteer advocate Art Villarreal encountered when he began his work with the organization in 2005.
He challenged those at the event to become foster parents and CASA volunteers, saying that while their donations are appreciated, what the organization truly needs are volunteers.
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School to greet fifth graders and teachers, answering questions from the children while sharing a strong message of self discipline and Mexican American pride.
"I came here to do one thing: to say thank you," Olmos told the crowd. "It's very difficult what they (volunteers) do. It's difficult because it hurts the heart."
Actor Olmos inspires at fundraiser
"You gave to be here, but you've got to give more," he said, noting that more than half of children in the Rio Grande Valley who need CASAs do not have one.
Villarreal shared his story ahead of Olmos during the event, pointing out that he had handled three cases in eight years even though the goal is to get children in and out of the system within a single year.
Most recently he worked to keep two brothers together while trying to find a home that could deal with their special needs, a search that he said showed him the occasional dark side of foster care. Those two children now live with their adoptive family in the Dallas Fort Worth area.
The children peppered Olmos with questions about his work on "Selena," which he said was one of the most difficult movies to work on as filming began just 14 months after the young singer's death, and his early infatuation with baseball growing up in California where he was the state batting champ two years in a row.
What was surprising, though, was to whom he directed those thanks.
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