Dr. Juan Andrade, Jr. is a living example of hard work and dedication paying off.
As a boy Andrade sold newspapers and worked on a farm picking cotton and hoeing weeds. In his high school years, he worked in factories and meatpacking plants. After earning five college degrees, he went on to have a career as a Latino commentator and is a recipient of the Presidential Medal.
Andrade worked as a political commentator on ABC-7 television for six years in Chicago and WGN radio, and wrote as a columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times. During this time, he was the only Latino commentator in the nation appearing on English language radio or television. He was also the only national leader at this time being featured in a major publication as a regular weekly columnist.
Andrade was a political activist and helped and participated in the democratization of Mexico, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Haiti, and other Latin American countries. He has been recognized four times as one of the "100 Most Influential Hispanics in America."
Currently, Andrade is the President of the United States Hispanic Leadership Institute. The institute promotes education, civic participation and leadership development for Latinos and other disenfranchised groups, according to USHLI. Since 1982, the institute has trained over 285,000 present and future leaders.
President Bill Clinton presented Andrade with a Presidential Medal for "the performance of exemplary deeds of service for the nation." In May of this year, Andrade received the Ohtli Award, which is Mexico's highest honor presented to a civilian not living in Mexico.
According to the USHLI, Andrade is one of four Mexican Americans in history to be decorated by both governments of Mexico and the United States.