Home>Service> Awardees of Fervent Global Love of Lives Award> 14th Fervent Global Love of Lives Award 2011> Street Cleaner Lawyer─Marcelo Fernando Iriarte, Argentinian
Strive to live hopefully; from street cleaner to lawyer
      Marcelo Fernando Iriarte is the lawyer of Argentinian Department of Legal Affairs. His father died of illness when he was three. He had been living on the street and making living since he was eight. His mother died of illness when he was 18. He accidentally became a bus driver. When he was 35, he luckily met a passenger named Laura, who encouraged him to go back to school. Marcelo then began his par-work and part-study life. He woke up at four every early morning and did streets cleaning to earn school fees. He must get to school by seven. After school, he continued to do the streets cleaning work and continued to study at night. He wouldn't be home until midnight. In December 2009, when he was 41, Marcelo graduated from Department of Law of University de Buenos Aires. He soon passed the test and received the lawyer license. Argentina is a poor country filled with immigrants. However, Marcelo strived to be better, kept on fighting those obstacles and worked hard to live hopefully. He undeniably crossed the mighty gap between urban elites and the rural poor .

Fortunate encounter on bus 126
      Marcelo was born in a poor Argentinian family in 1969. His father died of illness when he was three. He had been living on the street and making living since he was eight. He went on buses and family houses to sell small gadgets, such as newspapers, sweets, brooms and so on. About ten years later, he became a bus driver. Because of this job and a fortunate encounter, he went back to school.
      Marcelo pointed at an abandoned factory and said, “The lady who changed my life used to work there.” Laura, a secret passenger, who suddenly showed up on the bus suggested that Marcelo go back to study because she saw his potential. She even found a school for him. Marcelo believed that Laura was his “Fairy Godmother”, but he never saw her again.
Part work and part study, street cleaner also student
      Thanks to Laura's advice and help, Marcelo went back to high school when he was 35. He earned school fees by cleaning streets. He woke up at four every morning to sweep streets and caught the school by seven. After school, he was busy doing unfinished street cleaning work and went back to school at night. He never went home before midnight. He admitted, “I lived like an ant. I lost so many things, but I also got many.”
      Marcelo overcame those hinders of language and math and graduated from high school with the best grades.
Heritage dissension inspired him to study laws

      Marcelo had no chance to celebrate his high school graduation because he was saturated by disputations and suffered from the pressure of those heritage- relevant documents. A group of lawyers attempted to kick him out of the house which was the heritage left by his father when he was three. If he wanted it, they forced him to buy it back legally. This motivated him to go to university to study laws and sought the justice for the minority.
      In 2002, Marcelo made determination and passed the test with excellent grades and began to study in Department of Law of university de Buenos Aires . He continued his part-work-part-study life. He was a street cleaner, but also a student. He studied harder than others and spent two years completing the foundational subjects of the school. Again, due to his excellent grades, he was allowed to take the professional courses of Department of Law of university de Buenos Aires . His used his frozen chapped hands to sweep every block of San Cristobal . He also used his frozen chapped hands to read each book of laws. He used his braveness and strong will to work hard for his goal.
Strive to live hopefully, from street cleaner to lawyer
      Marcelo said, willpower can neither be bought nor be given as a gift. The key is oneself. It would be the best if everyone has an opportunity. He always kept this in mind: if everyone keeps being persistent and working hard, s/he will definitely achieve the goal.
      On December 19 th , 2009, to all expectations, Marcelo graduated from Department of Law of university de Buenos Aires with excellent grades. Meanwhile, he got his lawyer license.
      The legend of Marcelo, “from a street cleaner to a lawyer” became the headlines of 59 countries, including Argentina . People all over the world from different fields gave him encouragement and those praising letters kept coming like snowflakes. This made Marcelo waved the shadow of being called “garbage”. He summoned up his courage and put on his law gowns. He began to uphold justice and protect the minority.
      Marcelo sincerely appreciated those who had ever discriminated against him, approved him and helped him. What he felt most regret was that he couldn't share this honorable moment with his mother. Nonetheless, being a Christian, he believed that his mother still guarded him all the time.
      Marcelo is not only a good model of striving to live hopefully, but a great model of keeping hopes existing and making people never discouraged which deserves to be imitated by everyone. Marcelo told those international media that studying is very important and never abandon yourself. God always bless those who never give up and always work hard.