News Column


May 2007, HISPANIC BUSINESS Magazine


Though Hispanics are the fastest-growing population group in the United States, according to the National Center for Education Statistics, they comprise only 3 percent of the nation's scientists and engineers.

The new book "ĦAy, Mijo! Why Do You Want To Be An Engineer?" addresses the need for minorities in scientific fields by telling the stories of 12 Hispanic men who overcame challenges to become successful engineers. Written by Edna Campos Gravenhorst and illustrated by Sunny Santos, the book is one of 12 proposed volumes covering math, science, engineering, and technology, targeting either Hispanic men or women. The first book, titled, "ĦAy, Mija! Why Do You Want To Be An Engineer?" was released last summer and profiled high-achieving female Hispanic engineers.

The latest anthology includes engineers such as Jesus Cardoso of Ford Motor Co., Cesar Gonzales of IBM, Michael E. Gutierrez of Lockheed Martin, Alfred J. Griffin of Texas Instruments, Jose Hernandez of NASA, David Laguna-Aponte of Shell Oil, and Romeo Perez of Exxon Mobil. Ay, Mija included profiles of women such as Serena Garcia of Shell, Annette Desarden-Carrero of UPS, Camie Guerrero of Burlington Resources, Lupita Montoya of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and NASA's Laurie Y. Carrillo and Debbie Martinez Lugo.

Ms. Gravenhorst says she hopes to inspire young people to reach far beyond cultural stereotypes.

"I believe that one of the most important messages that we can convey to all youth is that, the situation you are born into need not identify who you will be for the rest of your life," she explains. "The stories' common thread in both Ay, Mija and Ay, Mijo, is esperanza [hope] for a better life through education. We want to say to our youth, 'dream big, the biggest dream and then go out there and make it come true.'"

A portion of sales proceeds will benefit the scholarship program of the Advancing Hispanic Excellence in Technology, Engineering, Math, and Science Foundation of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE). The books, at $17.95, are available through the SHPE Web site at

  ĦAy, Mijo! Why Do You Want To Be An Engineer?   Small Business, Big Life


Louis Barajas, a certified financial planner who graced the cover of Hispanic Business in 2005, is the author of a new book that implores entrepreneurs to integrate their business into their lives, rather than allowing their business to run their lives.

Mr. Barajas shares his tools for starting, building, and running a productive business while balancing a personal life in his new book "Small Business, Big Life: Five Steps to Creating a Great Life with Your Own Small Business" (Thomas Nelson, $16.99).

"When you make your business a part of your life rather than the other way around, you put your life at the center of your effort, and your business revolves around it," Mr. Barajas writes. "This gives you time and energy for relationships, health, contribution, growth, and education – and your business. You will also come to your business refreshed, relaxed, with greater resources, and ultimately more drive and focus."

This book is not for the next Bill Gates "or a hotshot MBA on the fast track," Mr. Barajas states in the introduction.

"Instead, it's for the rest of us – ordinary folks who have more dreams than education, capital, or resources," he says.

The five key steps he outlines in the book include building a "life blueprint." Mr. Barajas shows readers how to identify their values and priorities to create a life blueprint, which can be used as a guide to make their business fit into the rest of their lives. He also offers tips on discovering personal vision, creating a "business blueprint," molding business systems, and building a team that will nurture your business.

The author is founder of Louis Barajas & Associates, a financial planning firm in his birthplace of East Los Angeles.

Source: HISPANIC BUSINESS Magazine and, Copyright (c) 2007 All Rights Reserved.

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