"Don't let where you came from dictate who you are, but let it be part of who you become." These are the words of successful entrepreneur Robert Renteria, who today is Executive Vice President/Co-Founder of WashPro USA, but who grew up as an infant sleeping in a dresser drawer. This poignant and often hard-hitting memoir traces Robert's life from a childhood of poverty and abuse in one of the poorest areas of East Los Angeles, to his proud emergence as a business owner today. Along the way, Robert paints a vivid portrait of the numerous people who influenced his life, both good and bad - on one side, his loving and supportive mother, who always believed in him; and the US Army, which showed him that persistence, respect, integrity, commitment and honor could lead to great rewards. On the other side, he talks about the forces that dragged him down - gangs; doing and dealing drugs, an alcohol and drug addicted father that abandoned the family, a sometimes abusive stepfather and climbing the broken ladder of corporate America. Today, Robert gives back - eternally grateful for how his own life turned around.This is a man who works with people who need a break, who takes their hand and shows them how to get out of the proverbial gutter, how to have the kind of life he has.
From the Barrio to the Board Room is his way of reaching out to all the people he can't meet personally. It's smart, practical self-help advice wrapped up in the exciting and inspiring, sometimes funny, and always gripping story. Only someone who actually came from the streets, someone who knows the specific obstacles that they face, can show them how to clear their path. The book drives home the point that there's nothing that any American - Latino or otherwise - can't accomplish through persistence, hard work, heart and soul.