From the Blog

Youth Violence in the Headlines posted on October 4, 2015 by admin

These days, the news is filled with horrible stories of death and war. But the stories that stick out the most in

my mind are the stories of youth violence. Partly because they are horrible and senseless, but mainly because they can be prevented. Each day, more and more of our youth are getting caught up in a life of crime. However, what most of us fail to realize is that we all have the ability to prevent this youth violence from happening. Whether you’re a teacher, a family member, an author like me, or simply someone in the community, we all have the ability to become role models to these kids and provide them with a positive example. When I wrote my book, I knew I wanted to use it to show kids that there are more options available to them than a life of gangs, drugs, and violence. I have been blessed to hear firsthand from these kids about how the book has changed their lives. But more kids still need a push in the right direction. So in this new year, make it a goal to become a positive influence. Become a better teacher. Coordinate an after school activity. Spend more time with your children. If more people were to do something in their own community, the news wouldn’t be so saturated with stories of senseless youth violence.


If you are a superintendent, principal, teacher, social worker, counselor, juvenile detention center, social service agency, police officer, gang prevention/intervention specialist, church or any youth based organization PLEASE pay attention.

We are donating (FREE) at no cost, comprehensive bilingual non generic program/curricula for schools and churches/programs that resonates with our youth and promotes student achievement, bridges the educational gap and helps our kids with their critical thinking skills.

The books “From the Barrio to the Board Room, Mi Barrio & Little Barrio” are being used to teach our kids that gang-banging and violence is not a life -style but a death-style and that the ultimate weapon is not a loaded gun but an educated mind. The Barrio books teach our kids that bright futures are built on a strong education and that the secrets to success are hard work, determination and of-course education.

Spending millions of dollars on so called best practices so far is not working; but let’s face it, everything looks like it is more of the same, maybe and sometimes is because of the unions, some obscure contracts /deals and the infamous “trying to keep my study pay-check” attitude.

We ought to simply stop just talking about the problems, having more marches or panel discussions and/ or talking about statistics.  We have to bring solutions to the table, solutions with a strong chance to properly addressing the issues of gangs, violence, bullying and our kids currently failing in school.

Additionally, enough of putting band aids on bullet wounds, putting our kids behind cold metal bars or even worst burying our babies 6 feet underground. So as we plan for a new year, a new beginning and a new solution to help save our children I ask you to reach our or better yet, let’s collaborate on ways we can work together to bring real change to our communities not just here in Chicago-Land but around the world.

Remember the famous phrase: “Education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world”….. Nelson Mandela.

Broadcasting A Unified Message posted on July 6, 2015 by Yen Solsol


The “We Are American Challenge” is a movement to foster a culture of peace, acceptance, and love in the United States by broadcasting a unified message from groups of diverse backgrounds. Join as a group, or join as a citizen. The We Are American Challenge is a platform for the public, by the public, to tell the American story and positively affect social change.


Your participation in the challenge will raise awareness and donations to help The Barrio Foundation in their mission to transcend cultural boundaries through education. Funds will be used to accelerate the foundation’s initiative to reduce the increasing dropout rates, suicide rates, gang activity, drug abuse, and overcrowded jails among youths, transitioning veterans, and minorities.  Public support and event proceeds will allow The Barrio Foundation to put books in English and in Spanish into the hands of as many people as possible.


Sociafy and The Barrio Foundation believe that education is the key to success and must be made available to all citizens of this nation. We believe that though storytelling, we can find a common ground as citizens and embrace a single national identity. Our belief is that when a common bond between Americans is formed, civic priorities can be reevaluated, and social change can become possible.


It’s not about forgetting our cultural heritage. It’s about reminding ourselves that from many, we are one.  Follow these easy steps on how to take “We Are American Challenge“:

    1. Introduce yourself.
    2. Talk about what you do?
    3. Talk about a cause you care about.
    4. Challenge and tag three leaders, celebrities, family members or friends to join the challenge.
    5. Finally don’t forget to end your video declaring proudly “We Are American”.
    6. Upload your video via Facebook, Twitter or Sociafy for a chance to have your video be shared with over 150,000,000 viewers.


Contribute to The Barrio Foundation:


NEVER GIVE UP posted on June 26, 2015 by Yen Solsol

Chicago, IL, – The world is a tough place and it will/could beat you down if you let it. Don’t let anybody ever tell you that you can’t do something especially if that person has never done it himself/ herself.

If you want something you are going to have wanted it bad, really bad because this world is not about sunshine and rainbows. You are going to get knocked down, you are going to get beat down, so it doesn’t matter how hard or how many times that happens to you what matters is how many times you can pick yourself up and fight back, fight for whatever it is that you want for your life and for your family’s future.

So as you move forward, you will be creating the perfect time, the perfect opportunity and the perfect situation. We have to be willing to work day and night for what we want, we have to be willing do whatever it takes, and we must make the necessary sacrifices needed to reach our dreams. Believe me when I tell you that if the dream is big enough the odds don’t even matter.

Did you know that one of the wealthiest places in the planet is the graveyard? In the graveyard we can find inventions that we were never ever exposed to; ideas and dreams that never became a reality, hopes and aspirations that where never acted upon.  The question is what are you going to do about it?

What are you going to do about making your dreams become a reality?

You need to take yourself out of your comfort zone, don’t be afraid to grow, don’t talk yourself out of taking a chance. Find the fire down deep inside yourself to do the extraordinary, turn your pain into greatness, and build upon your pain.

Push yourself, it’s easy to be on the bottom, it doesn’t take any effort to be a loser, but if you push yourself you will find out that you have some talents and abilities that you didn’t even know about.

Harness your will, embrace your pain, I challenge you to challenge yourself to be phenomenal because you are phenomenal.

It is my believe that we were all created by God, and with that being said we are not alone, we are powerful, we are great, we are his children and God will not let us fail!


Find more articles by Robert Renteria in Viva Mejor Magazine in the self-improve section

Robert Renteria speaks at Ferguson school posted on June 18, 2015 by Yen Solsol

Ferguson-Florissant School District, Robert Renteria call for a United Front to address racial divide.

Author civically engages, contributes to the creation of a peace in communities.


FERGUSON, MO, — Author of the internationally acclaimed Barrio book series, Robert Renteria, will address students and faculty of Ferguson-Florissant School District, his publicist announced. Ferguson, Missouri is among America’s top news stories involving racial strains this year. Renteria speak on Thursday, April 23, 2015. He discuss innovative teaching tools that effectively counter violence.


Students in the Ferguson-Florissant School District are currently reading “From the Barrio to the Board Room 2nd Edition,” and “MI Barrio” books written by the author.


“They’re reading because they are relevant and exciting,” explained Robert Renteria. “The Barrio books resonate with our kids. It teaches them that the ultimate weapon is not a loaded gun but rather, an educated mind.” Organizers believe that attendees and participants will walk away from this presentation with new ideas and solutions to take back to their respective communities.


“I’m very proud of Robert Renteria. He is one of a few authors who consistently exchanges knowledge, civically engages, and contributes to the creation of a peaceful community,” stated Fran Briggs, Director of eMediaCampaigns! and publicist to the author, Robert Renteria.


Every day, thousands of children, teens, and young adults around the country are subject to violence and racial epithets. Nearly 33% of all school-aged children are bullied every year. Students involved in violence and bullying are apt to have mental health issues, more challenges in school, and abuse drugs and alcohol.


Renteria says that during the Grammy Awards and Super Bowl earlier this year, President Obama and the NFL reminded us all that domestic violence are unacceptable. He added that First Lady, Michelle Obama is has campaigned against Anti-bullying for several years.


“I am humbled and blessed to have been chosen to follow up on President and First Lady Obama and the NFL’s messages when I address the students and faculty in Ferguson, MO.,” stated Renteria. “The aim is to break the racial divide. It’s not about violence and non violence; it’s about non violence, or non existence.”


“I want to thank Michelle Martin who is the Professional Development & Diversity Manager for Thompson Coburn LLP. She coordinated the donation and distribution of Barrio books through the firm. Thompson Coburn LLP not only made it possible for me to address students in two assemblies in Ferguson, they’re also helping our kids in Chicago as well,” Renteria concluded.


Aurora Mayor Thomas Weisner to speak at Barrio Spanish Book Launch posted on March 24, 2015 by admin

Mayor Weisner Aurora Mayor Thomas Weisner recognized the power of the Barrio book and joined us to say

a few words back in April, 2008 at the initial Barrio Book Launch. We are very honored that he has chosen to return and speak on behalf of teens and at-risk youth on August 26th, 2009 at the Barrio Spanish book launch. Make sure to join us
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and nearly 500 other guests as we raise money for education!
Mi Barrio Wins Best Graphic Novel posted on May 22, 2012 by admin” alt=”MiBarrio-Cover copy” width=”299″ height=”386″ />

On June 5th, in NYC, Mi Barrio will be awarded the Best Graphic Novel at the Int'l Latino Book Awards hosted at the Instituto Cervantes in New York City in the heart of midtown at 211 East 49th Street. The awards will be presented by Latino Literacy Now in partnership with Las Comadres Para Las Americas and the Instituto Cervantes. Congratulations to all involved in creating and sharing Mi Barrio!

Barrio is Raising Money to Shoot Reality TV Pilot posted on September 18, 2011 by admin

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Please join us on RocketHub where we are raising the financing to shoot the Barrio TV Pilot called 2nd Chances. Watch

the trailer and get all the details here:

Building Bridges of Peace Conference posted on September 17, 2011 by admin

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From the Barrio 2nd Edition is Coming posted on September 14, 2011 by admin /uploads/2011/09/FTB-2nd-Ed-Cover-196×300.png” alt=”FTB 2nd Ed Cover” width=”196″ height=”300″ />

On October 16th, 2011 From the Barrio to the Board Room the 2nd edition will be released nationwide through bookstores, and also digitally through Kindle, The Nook, and the iBookstore (Apple). With a new foreword by the Honorable Senator Iris Martinez, and a new epilogue by Robert, the Foundation is excited to introduce the Barrio message to more of you chasing the American Dream. Here is a short excerpt from the new foreword:

“Robert Renteria’s story needs to be heard. Young people are living in neighborhoods with more violence than ever before and gangs have become a routine part of the environment. For some of our young people, survival is all they know. We have to show them that there is more. We have to encourage them to look beyond, and have a sense of the future and look to where they want to be 10 or 20 years from now. Robert clearly illustrates that life is full of choices, and the choices you make will determine which way you go.”

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