He was all but abandoned by his parents and raised in poverty by his grandparents, gang-involved cousins and other relatives in South Los Angeles. But Sirr Parker persevered against terrible odds, and flourished as a nearly straight-A student. And his record on the high school football team earned him a football scholarship to Texas A&M.
The movie inspired by his improbable story, "They Call Me Sirr," made its broadcast debut in 2001, six years after the former homecoming king graduated from Locke High School.
How about this for a sequel: Parker, a college graduate, makes good on a high school vow to return to his roots to mentor at-risk kids facing the same type of hurdles? It's playing out in real life at Los Padrinos Juvenile Detention Center in Downey, a kind of way station for youths in trouble where Parker works as a detention service officer.
Sirr Parker shares his childhood and his lifelong dream of helping other children with the Los Angeles Times