My Role Model: Cesar Chavez


DeMarco Haye

Cesar  Chavez. At  the age of 25 he decided to change the lives of over 100,000 Mexican  Americans. Over the years  many  people  saw  that he is a very inspirational figure in the United States.  He grew up through difficult times and he didn’t appreciate the fact that he was working over 20 hours a day and not getting enough pay. Not knowing Cesar was getting under wage. After a couple years he noticed that it was not only him, but it was other farmers too. Slowly he came up with peaceful protests to change the farming system. 

Over time Mexicans and other immigrants fled to America to earn better jobs and better pay because of the Great Depression.  The Caesar family also arrived because of this rising problem. When he was in the 8th grade Cesar decided to drop out of school to work on the farm full time to help his family out. He saw that they weren’t getting enough pay. He wanted to change that. Cesar wanted immigrants to get the same pay and adequate wages as others. He wanted to improve the working rights of agricultural workers. Over time he noticed that the working conditions of the farmers were horrible. They were exposed to a lot of Pesticide over time when they were working on the farm. 

May 1, 1972 was a very important day for Cesar. He decided to go on hunger strike. Most of the farmers in the Southwest decided to fast until they changed the workers working conditions. This act was made by former activist Mahatma Gandhi. This hunger strike decided to make the United States Legislature pass the farming law which allows the farmers to form boycotts and protests. Later in 1962 he founded the National Farm Workers Association. This organization seeks to improve migrant farmworkers and to improve their wages and working conditions. 

Caesar Chavez had a very big impact on me overall. Caesar helped me see the unfairness in people because they appreciated others besides me. This problem came up at my job named Bareburger. Every day I went in and did what I was supposed to do. Serve food to people with a welcoming smile and positive attitude. I always enjoyed working there. Every week I’ve got my paycheck and my tips that I made the week. When I got paid, the amount was not matching up with the amount of hours that I worked. The tips were not accounting for the pay that was missing. I noticed that someone was removing money out of my pay. I realized that it was not only me who was going through this problem too; Caesar Chavez also did. I decided to stand up and talk to the manager. I explained that the person who did the payouts was doing something incorrect because I was not earning my correct pay. The manager reached out to the lady who did my payout and explained that the “extra” money off my pay was being split up to different employees that also worked at the restaurant. I felt very upset knowing that I never will get that money that I was missing. I ended up leaving the job because of the way I was being treated. 

As weeks passed the company sent out a survey. I ended up doing the survey and I told them what happened while I worked there. Not knowing the CEO of Bareburger goes through these surveys that were being completed. He reached out to me and said I did the right thing to talk up to the manager and he ended up giving me a check with $5,000. This check was way more than the amount of money, but I really appreciated it because of my hard work that I presented while I was working. This showed that people could get rewarded for doing the right thing and not making a big deal out of it. This is exactly what Cesar Chavez did. He protested peacefully and let the government see what was right without any violence. 

“To make a dream come true, the first requirement is a great capacity to dream; the second is persistence”. This amazing quote by Cesar Chavez shows us that he wants everyone’s dream to come true and he gives us the steps to it. He is not only inspiring to me but also to others. Cesar will always be a positive influence to everyone. Everyone could make a change no matter the condition you are in.  By all counts Cesar Chaves continues to inspire me and always remember to speak up!