Ripples of Marvin Zindler's legacy still being felt

June 2, 2011 2:44:15 AM PDT
Five years ago, Marvin Zindler and one of Marvin's Angels gave Luis Romero one of the things he needed to succeed in school -- a new wheelchair.

This week, Romero will be graduating from high school, something he says he may not have been able to do without that gift.

From the time he was born, Romero could not walk, but he's never let that stand in his way.

"He blended in really well with his sense of humor," English teacher Shirley Lyons said.

In Mrs. Lyons seventh grade English class at F.M. Black Middle School, it wasn't his disability that slowed him down. It was his old wheelchair.

"All of us would help him push it and it was really heavy and it would always break down," Romero's friend Monique Martinez said.

His teacher and students couldn't buy a new one, but that didn't stop them from doing something about it.

"I told them a teacher's voice is only heard so loud, but a teacher's voice with all her students will be heard," Lyons said.

One by one, they wrote from the heart.

"I was very happy to see they really cared about me and they were really trying to help me out," Romero said.

"I thought, 'Well, I really don't know if anybody is going to help us because we are just kids," Martinez said.

But on the last day of school in 2006, their voices were heard.

"You know how he is really loud, 'This is Marvin Zindler!' It was an exciting day for all of us," Martinez said.

"It taught the students the lesson we want to teach them, their words have power," Suzanne Mihaloglou, Remoer's middle school principal, said.

On his 14th birthday, Romero got that brand new chair.

"It was like having a new car for him, and it gave him independence," Luis and Coralia Romero, Luis' parents, said.

The past five years, it's gotten him up and down the halls on his journey towards graduation.

"I learned that whenever you have hope for something and really hope for something, you might have a chance of it happening," Romero said.

His story has left a lasting impression on so many.

"I guess they all get A+++ for those letters regardless of any grammatical errors because it brought the greatest results for Luis," Lyons said.

And it is an example of the Marvin Zindler legacy that lives on.

Romero will graduate this Sunday at the George R. Brown Convention Center with 400 classmates from Waltrip High School. He plans on starting college at HCC in the fall, specializing in computer engineering and software programming.

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