With the passing of former Congressman E. Clay Shaw, Florida has lost a statesman, a visionary and a gentleman. He had the strength to take on major issues and introduce new ideas to streamline federal programs. Yet at the same time, he was an advocate for our most fragile populations, including seniors and children.
Shaw’s passing had a special impact for me. When I was a new immigrant to the United States, the congressman took an interest in my future.
He noticed my dedicated work ethic as I labored as a busboy in Fort Lauderdale, and helped me navigate a very complex and threatening immigration processes.
How times have changed! Here was a congressman, who knew the value of education and hard work, taking the time to help a poor immigrant and offering me the keys to the American Dream.
And yet today, nearly 30 years later, there are efforts to prevent children who grew up here from pursuing a quality education.
Through his generosity and forward thinking, he helped not only individuals, but future generations who will understand the value of a quality education and benefit from it.
Alberto M. Carvalho, Miami