The homicide rate in Chicago is higher than most cities in the US[1]. This past weekend alone saw 74 people shot in Chicago, 12 of them fatally[2]. Because homicide cleanup is our core business – and our family has also experienced homicide personally – we have strong opinions about the issue and have developed ideas about solutions to preventing homicide.

One of our close friends and allies who we collaborate with on solutions to this critical issue is Robert Renteria. Robert has developed a set of tools called From the Barrio to the Boardroom; it includes a series of books, class curriculum and a podcast to help educate youth on the essential components to achieving success and staying out of trouble (and away from gangs, violence and drugs). The vision for this project is clear:

The Barrio books and curriculum are bringing life skills back into the classroom and providing our kids with the inspiration and motivation to graduate from middle schools and high schools to further pursue their goals, hopes and dreams.

We think connecting with at-risk youth when they are most vulnerable (during teenage years), providing them with positive role models/examples (like Robert) and offering them better options to achieving success — like working hard and learning from mentors — we can give students the tools they need to steer clear of the lure of drugs, money and the violence that so frequently comes with joining a gang.

Robert works with schools around the country to educate teachers on how to connect with these at-risk youth and giving them the critical tools they need.

Robert Renteria is working with the Chicago Public School District and multiple schools around the country to implement From the Barrio to the Classroom, a dynamic two week FREE curriculum/teacher’s guide that utilizes Robert’s story to help students reflect on their own lives and share their own stories.[3]

Robert is a passionate and accomplished speaker on this topic. He gave a TedX Talk and has spoken publicly many times about it. Moreover, Robert offers his curriculum FOR FREE, using his own resources, to anyone interested in learning more about it:

Anyone who needs a program that is working and making a huge impact in real time contact Robert personally and his team will e-mail you at no cost FREE a school based and faith based curriculum to both help save and change lives**

To receive this effective and practical curriculum for your school or organization, just reach out to Robert directly:

E-mail: [email protected]

Speaking engagements call: 312-933-5619

We believe connecting with youth when they need it the most and providing them with positive, healthy role models and by teaching them critical life-changing skills, we can make a dent in the wave of violence that plagues our communities and families.