Essential Moments begins with the struggles experienced by a small boy in a large family upon the untimely death of his father. His story traces a quest for a better life. Seeking a way out of poverty, he kept his eye on the prize: a college education. To some, he talked “funny” and wrote awkwardly, yet he finally became what he always wanted to be: a teacher. But teaching special education in the American Public School System, and later as a college professor, wasn’t an easy road. With equal parts tenacity, humor, naiveté, and a bit of a super-man complex, he fought his battles-and the battles of others-before finally settling on what was truly essential. This book will resonate to Mexican- Americans and other Latinos who have been asked to change proud parts of their identity to adhere to mainstream society. It will also be compelling to all educators who have struggled for adequate resources to provide enriching environments for their students. Essential Moments is a teacher’s story and a story of a child that grew up in poverty in a Texas barrio. However, it is ultimately a universal story about family, friendships, success, failures, setbacks, disappointments, and pursuing a dream to the end.