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Hispanic leader to speak at NMSU

Gloria Rodriguez, recognized by Working Mother's Magazine as one of the 25 most influential working mothers and by Hispanic Business Magazine as one of the 100 leading Hispanics, will speak at New Mexico State University.

Rodriguez will speak from 3:30 to 5 p.m. Thursday, April 12 in the Corbett Center Auditorium.

Rodriguez is the founder and past president and CEO of AVANCE, an organization dedicated to reducing the Latino high school dropout rate by helping low-income parents prepare their children before they even enter school.

"As a teacher, I was very concerned with children being tracked and labeled at the age of 6," said Rodriguez. "That's what moved me to start AVANCE."

AVANCE has gained national recognition, with features in The New York Times, and on ABC News and the McNeil Lehrer News Hour. The organization also has been included in books by Barbara Bush, Hillary Clinton and Rosalyn Carter.

Rodriguez said, "By focusing on education, we seem to be able to solve so many other problems along the way."

Today, Rodriguez is president of Nuestros Ninos, a consulting company with the same name as her book, written about children.

Rodriguez received the Hispanic Heritage Award in Education at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., and was also inducted into the Texas Hall of Fame.

Rodriguez is the latest speaker in the Garrey E. and Katherine T. Carruthers Speaker Series in Economic Development. The seminar series is hosted by the Carruthers Chair in Economic Development. Business Dean Garrey Carruthers and his wife Katherine created the chair with a $500,000 gift. The state of New Mexico gave the chair $1 million in matching funds.

During the 2006-07 series, speakers are addressing students on issues related to "The Changing Face of Economic Development." This event is part of NMSU's continuing outreach efforts to help educate and improve the lives of everyone in the community and state.

The presentations are free and open to the public.