US Hispanic Youth Entrepreneur Education Foundation/Minority Business RoundTable
Purpose Prize Fellow 2008
Fostering entrepreneurship, jobs and economic growth for minorities, especially Hispanic students.
Roger Campos was a successful lawyer and executive at the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities, inspired by his hardworking immigrant father who defied stereotypes and built up a successful restaurant business in California. When Campos was 50, his father’s death led him to search for meaning in life, and he found it in helping other minorities and Hispanic youth in particular become successful entrepreneurs. In 2002, at age 56, Campos founded the Minority Small Business Association to raise the voices of minority entrepreneurs nationwide. Two years later he set up the U.S. Hispanic Youth Entrepreneur & Education Foundation to address high dropout rates among Hispanic youth and to introduce them to entrepreneurship as a career option. Campos’ groups work in partnerships with the Business Roundtable, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Small Business Administration and the Departments of Homeland Security, Defense, Commerce, Labor and other agencies to secure attention to minority businesses and encourage Hispanic students to finish high school and attend college. His group has enrolled over 300 students and awarded $60,000 in scholarships at the Maryland Hispanic Youth Symposiums. “Youth today need role models and mentors. And people in the second half of their lives can do that. They have the experience; they have knowledge that youth today do not have. They can help refocus young kids’ lives.”