Jose Manuel Estrada Jr. was a remarkable young man who was loved by many. Since his birth, his presence was a shining light in his family.
The EmBrase Foundation was created to honor the memory and legacy of Jose "Jojo" Estrada Jr. At the age of 23, Jojo accomplished more than most people do in a lifetime. He was a college graduate from CalArts, a teacher, actor, dancer, visual arts artist, writer, computer programmer and activist.
He cared deeply about education for our youth and was active in promoting the arts in the inner city. He was an inspiration, and transforming force to all those who knew him.
Jose Manuel Estrada’s physical presence left us on May 3, 2014. However, his ideals, values, and
spirit live on in all of us who are committed to his legacy of not abandoning the dreams of children in our communities.
So when I finish this poem understand
that I’m leaving some of these dreams with you.
and I hope you know this is not only a piece of me
but a part of my whole barrio.
And I hope you achieve all the impossible
and understand that some can overcome poverty
and breach obstacles
don’t allow these dreams to go to waste
because the minds of these people can never be replaced.
- Jose Manuel "Jojo" Estrada Jr. in his poem "Abandoned Dreams"