Rick Noriega, who was named one of Hispanic Business Magazine’s Top 100 Influential Hispanics in the United States, is President and CEO of AVANCE, a national dual-generation education nonprofit that has been serving Hispanic families for 40 years. A combat infantry veteran, Noriega continues a distinguished military career as a colonel with the Texas Army National Guard. He served ten years in the Texas House of Representatives, where his most significant accomplishment was the passage of House Bill 1403, the Texas Dream Act. The bill made Texas the first state to offer in-state tuition rates and financial assistance for immigrant children and started a national movement. Thanks to the Dream Act, more than 30,000 Texas students have accessed higher education. He is married to Houston City Councilwoman Melissa Noriega and they have two sons.