Escalante, originally from La Paz, Bolivia, was a teacher of math and physics in his own country for many years before coming to the United States. When he got here he could speak no English, began taking night classes to earn degrees in biology and calculus, and eventually received credentials to begin teaching in California.
And that's where Jaime Escalante's life really began to get interesting. After accepting a position at Garfield High School in East Los Angeles, Escalante - appalled at how the school taught very little in the way of higher mathematics - took it upon himself to challenge the students at Garfield to take an advanced placement calculus course. Eventually the students proceeded to blow away darn nearly everybody's expectations of them and with each successive year Garfield High began consistently outpacing most other schools in the state of California. In 1988 Jaime Escalante's story was made into the hit movie Stand and Deliver, with Edward James Olmos playing Escalante.
This dude was everything that the art of teaching is supposed to be about. As some have noted, Escalante took gang members and turned them into aerospace engineers.
Farewell Mr. Escalante. And thank you for sharing your ganas with us.