** Originally posted Oct. 15th, 2016 ~ And re-posted 1-13-17 in Honor of the Late JOHN R LEE **
I first “met” Damien James in the 9th grade at NOLA’s McDonogh #35. HIS 9th grade; I was merely the one helping him MAKE the grade – as I taught him Algebra 1 & 2.
Inside a computer!
Damien had it pretty rough, as do way too many of New Orleans’ inner-city youth today… Mom was ‘asleep at the wheel’, brothers were dealing drugs, playgrounds were, how do we say, challenging?
But Damien found a friend – yours truly.
Inside a computer!
As the narrator and audio producer behind all of I CAN Learn’s educational math programs since 1991, I personally helped steer Damien through the perilous gateway of Algebra and on to his chosen STEM degree – and career.
Too dramatic? Too ‘flowery’? How about a punchline?
Today, Damien James has risen from the streets of NOLA to become the Information Technology Chief of a major American airline company, and I CAN Learn & I directly helped him get there.
Inside a computer!
Damien’s accomplishments are both remarkable and inspiring. As, together with this landmark, trail-blazing educational mathematics program, he was inspired and enabled to move from the ‘breadlines to the headlines’.
STEM degrees, to the uninitiated (and sad to say there are many) – are the Science ** Technology ** Engineering ** Math ** degrees that hold the keys which unlock the doors to America’s future.
And the I CAN Learn Math program has been helping thousands of students achieve that degree – as well as that high-paying career of the future – since 1991!
Witness Damien’s personal story and testimony via YouTube here…
You know something? Of all the audio I’ve produced through all these years here in NOLA, this work with the I CAN Learn Educational System is the work of which I am most proud. Without question.
John R. Lee and I first met in 1991 at the Airlift Productions legendary Iberville Street location. He found me in the Yellow Pages. (Remember them? Yes, ‘digital’ changed everything.)
He was looking for some help. Help in compiling, recording, and organizing thousands upon thousands upon thousands of interactive audio files to drive the engine of his brainchild.
John Lee is a stone-cold, off-the-charts runaway GENIUS.
His prescient vision of merging math textbooks with the digital realm of computers has been often copied through all these years (round up the usual suspects) – but never ever duplicated!
Mr. Lee is a one-of-a-kind visionary that doesn’t come along just any day… think Fred MacMurray’s lovable character Professor Ned Brainard in the Walt Disney 1961 classic “The Absent Minded Professor”.
But, gang, Flubber this ain’t!
Just ask Damien James. Or his wife. Or his daughter. Or the thousands of other aspiring Damien James wanna-bees whose lives have been forever changed by their introduction to the revolutionary I CAN Learn Math program.
So, what does the future hold for John Lee and I CAN Learn?
Well, as John himself opined in his interview late last century with CNN news, “Education is a tricky place to grow a business”.
And despite political boondoggles, bureaucratic red tape, “snake oils”, and cheap, imitation competitive knock-offs, in that same CNN interview, John told the camera, “You’re not beaten ’til you quit!”
And he hasn’t.
Today, in the fall of 2016, the saga continues, the story continues… and so does the “ah-ha!” moment in the minds of young, eager math students across America.
Oh, and Damien, if you just so happen to be reading this – can you spot me a few bucks ’til next Tuesday?
Airlift Productions ~ Audio Alchemy & Digital Magic from NOLA since 1984