The latino policy institute
Founder of Steam Box
Growing up, Roberto Gonzalez had to learn to channel his inner Peter Parker to understand the meaning of “With Great Power, Comes Great Responsibility.” While attending a predominantly white school, he struggled being the only Puerto Rican student. He endured discrimnation from staff and classmates, which prompted him to move to Classical High School. Once he made that move, he felt that he was able to be exposed to more diverse opportunities and benefits for success while still facing barriers due to class and race.
Roberto took those experiences and feelings and turned them into motivation. He decided he wanted to create solutions to the problems he faced and that also plagued the youth in his community daily. After graduating as a sound engineer, he stayed connected to his inner Peter Parker. Having grown up in Washington park, he founded STEAM Box to mentor youth in his community and to be the support in their lives that he didn’t have. STEAM Box creates STEAM programs based entirely on the youths interest such as outer space, self-made hover-boards, apps, artificial language and virtual reality. They even tell their stories through podcasts episodes and they’ve traveled to Japan twice.
Roberto’s experiences motivated him to create a space he wished he had as a youngster to create, develop and experiment his interests to then model a path to a career. He believes in making the youth their own bosses, taking charge of their own futures. His favorite part about his work is that just as much as fun it is, there is so much learning through it all.