Category Archives: Uncategorized

Chicagoland Opportunity Fair and Forum

UP invites our young adults to learn more about this interesting opportunity this week. Leading companies are partnering with youth-serving nonprofit organizations, innovators, and foundations to create clear pathways to help connect the 5.6 million young Americans who are not working or in school to meaningful employment. This Initiative creates opportunities for young people to build skills, gain credentials, and reclaim the American Dream. Their goal is to create the nation’s largest employer-led private sector coalition focused on helping young people build skills and attain credentials, while connecting them to employment.

All day long there will be performances, workshops, training sessions, and a chance to meet over 50 different employers and apprentice opportunities.

Young people who want to participate need to register at this link.
**** THE PASSWORD IS: 100k *****

If you are interested in volunteering you can sign up here.
**** PW = 100k *****

Fair Flyer

A call to action!

By now you’ve probably heard that Governor Rauner has cut $26 million from the Illinois Department of Human Services for Fiscal Year 2016, terminating funding for 22 critical programs, like Teen REACH, that supports thousands of Illinois residents every year.

This is devastating news.

Universidad Popular became one of hundreds of organizations across the state last week who received notice that some of our services will no longer be funded, and we would need to return any funding we had not already spent. So this June, after six years of providing access five days a week to a safe space, caring adults, academic support, and civic engagement, our year-round youth development program, UPrising, will be forced to close its doors to dozens of local youth who rely on us for daily opportunities for social and emotional growth.

You can help.

We are asking our supporters to partner with us to make sure UPrising can continue to serve vulnerable youth in our community. There are two ways you can make a difference:

• Contact your elected officials and tell them to demand Governor Rauner restore funding to Teen REACH, keeping free after-school programming available to our families.
• Donate to Universidad Popular by visiting us at and clicking on DONATE or sending a check, written to Universidad Popular, to our main office at 2801 S. Hamlin Ave., Chicago, IL 60623.

We hope we can count on you, because only together can we continue to work with youth to build a better community for everyone.

Job Opportunities



Job Description:

Provide English Language Development classes to adult students, using interactive and participatory methods of instruction. Assist program coordinator to insure the successful operation of the program.


Primary Responsibilities:

  • Assist with student recruitment, registration, assessment, and placement.
  • Develop student’s files to document language progress and personal growth.
  • Develop class curriculum and lesson plans addressing the needs of students.
  • Collect daily attendance and create monthly attendance reports.
  • Prepare monthly narrative reports for Program Coordinator.
  • Complete and update statistical funders report on a monthly basis.
  • Compile students’ writings for publications.
  • Attend program meetings and staff development workshops as required.
  • Other duties as required.


Job Requirements: Bachelor’s degree in education or related field. Must have basic typing and computer processing skills. Have the desire and commitment to use family literacy learning as a community empowerment tool.  Bilingual/Bicultural in English/Spanish strongly preferred. Excellent organizational and communication skills.



Job Accountability:   Reports to Adult Education Program Coordinator.

Salary:  Commensurable with experience.


Send resume and cover letter to:


Ms. Olivia Flores-Godínez

 Universidad Popular

2801 S. Hamlin Avenue

Chicago, Illinois 60623-4554









Job Title: Child Facilitator Fiscal Year: 2015
Department: Adult Literacy Program: LETOS/FLT


Position Overview


UP’s Children’s Program Facilitator is responsible for delivering the program to children ages 2 to 5 years old in the community.  Provide early childhood development classes to children using interactive and participatory methods as empowering strategies.




  • Able to develop a class curriculum and create lesson plans according to the children’s needs.
  • Maintain record/reports of the children’s weekly and monthly attendance, assessments, progress, etc.
  • Communicate with coordinator and facilitators regarding the children’s progress or concerns.
  • Show children steps to become an independent learner by encouraging and supporting them.
  • Develop Parent and children interactive activities
  • Assist with the program’s recruitment
  • Attend any available child education trainings.
  • Attend program meetings and staff development workshops
  • Other assignments as required by the job position.


Performance Measures:


  • Accurate, timely execution of assigned duties
  • Active participation in staff meetings and programs/events and activities
  • Adherence to UP’s mission and policies
  • Understand and practice UP’s philosophy.
  • Positive attitude, collaboration, progress, and encouragement.


Job Accountability:    Reports directly to Coordinator.



  • Bachelor’s Degree.
  • Bilingual in Spanish and English.
  • Previous experience working with children.
  • Proficient in Microsoft Word, Excel and know how to use the Internet.
  • Be patient, responsible and respectful.
  • Be a good listener
  • Demonstrate sound ethics.
  • Be culturally sensitive.
  • Ability to work well with others


NOTE:  This job description is not intended to be all-inclusive. Employee may perform other related duties as negotiated to meet the growing needs of the organization.


                                                                                                     Universidad Popular

Send  Cover Page, Resume, and Writting Sample to:  Olivia Flores-Godinez

                                                                                                     2801 S. Hamlin Ave.

                                                                                                      Chicago, Illinois 60623                








Job Description: Digital Literacy Program Coordinator

Position Overview
UP’s Digital Literacy Coordinator must be responsible managing the Digital Literacy Program (DILIPRO). He/she has knowledge and experience with complex technical skills. Manages data entry and receives programming support from each of the various UP coordinators.

Responsibilities: Coordinator

 Updates digital participant files, attendance weekly and monitor progress
 Trains other facilitators in how to enter attendance data on data spreadsheets.
 Analyzes quizzes and tests to monitor program success in terms of level completions, and completion of goals, including attainment of basic digital education and transitions to the workforce.
 Administers and analyzes program enrollment data related to participants’ family, work history, highest level of education reached, etc.
 Works on program development and innovative strategies to reach out the greater community area to reach a digital literacy vision for Little Village.
 Handle confidential and sensitive data with integrity.
 Prepares reports for program outcomes and deliverables.
 Develop class curriculum and lesson plans addressing the needs of students with facilitators.
 Maintain record of participant’s attendance, assessments, etc.
 Enter participant attendance into a database created for the digital literacy program
 Maintain student files to document technological knowledge progress and personal growth.
 Document and communicate with facilitator regarding participant progress.
 Encourage and support participants.
 Facilitate the development of participants into independent learners.
 Attend weekly coordinators meetings and workshops and contribute to planning and documentation of staff activities.
 Organize student recruitment, registration, assessment and placement.
 Develop appropriate evaluation measures for participants based on class curriculum.
 Prepare monthly narrative reports for Program Developer.
 Develop and compile student writings for publications.
 Actively study the digital needs of Chicago’s Spanish-speaking community.
 Actively seek professional development opportunities and self-evaluation and improvement as a coordinator and facilitator.
 Other assignments as needed.


Performance Measures:
 Accurate, timely execution of assigned duties
 Focus on assisting to maintain a minimum of 80% retention in facilitator classes
 Active participation in staff meetings and programs, events and activities
 Adherence to UP’s mission and policies
 Understanding and practice of UP’s educational philosophy.
 Positive attitude, collaboration, progress, and encouragement.
Job Accountability: Reports directly to Program Developer.


 College-degree with experience in digital innovative programming.
 Proficient in Microsoft Word, Excel
 Knowledge on the maintenance of information systems, i.e computer hardware.
 Ability to communicate with all participants through different classes.
 Motivation to engage in in-depth research as well as preparing presentation of data collected.
 Proficient in Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Access, Excel, Adobe Photoshop Adobe Acrobat, and know how to use Internet for research purposes.

NOTE: This job description is not intended to be all-inclusive. Employee may perform other related duties as negotiated to meet the ongoing needs of the organization

Send resume and cover letter to:
Ms. Olivia Flores-Godínez
Universidad Popular
2801 S. Hamlin Avenue
Chicago, Illinois 60623-4554 








Position: Digital Literacy Program Facilitator (Evening)
Hours: 5pm – 8pm

Light areas of requirements:

Computer Basics Microsoft Office Suite: Word, Excel, Publisher, Powerpoint Internet and Email BasicsVideo and Photo Creation Web Site Development Internet Research Email creation Basic PC Troubleshooting Job Description: Be able to assist in class trainings, develop class curriculum and training exercises. Be able to assist in basic operations to carry out a 8-10 week session of information systems basic introduction and instruction. Primary


 Assist with student recruitment, registration, assessment, and placement.
 Develop student’s files to document language progress and personal growth.
 Develop class curriculum and lesson plans addressing the needs of students.
 Collect daily attendance and create monthly attendance reports.
 Prepare monthly narrative reports for Program Coordinator.
 Complete and update statistical funders report on a monthly basis.
 Compile students’ writings for publications.
 Attend program meetings and staff development workshops as required.
 Other duties as required. Training participants include but are not limited to the following areas of interest: Participant Design Process – created with, by and for the people Administrative assistant essentials Comp TIA A+ Finances Prep-GED GED
Electricity Computer Networking Civics Job Readiness Online Public Services Digital Education Support English Tutoring with Computers Basic Computers Intermediate

Job Requirements: Have the desire and commitment to use community empowerment and digital literacy learning as a tool. Bilingual/Bicultural in English/Spanish strongly preferred. Excellent organizational and communication skills.

Job Accountability: Reports to Digital Literacy Program Coordinator.

Salary: Commensurable with experience.

Send resume and cover letter to:
Ms. Olivia Flores-Godínez
Universidad Popular
2801 S. Hamlin Avenue
Chicago, Illinois 60623-4554





Universidad Popular’s Violence Prevention Initiative Receives Further Support

Many within the research community rightly claim that poverty and violence are close cousins. For this reason, in view of the chronic, massive unemployment rate prevailing in Little Village (South Lawndale), combined with the disturbingly high rate of poverty (see Graphic 1 and 2 for a visual), the on-going youth violence should not be a surprise to anybody.
Graphic 1: Unemployment in Little Village (area 30) stands at an 11.5% and is disproportionately combined with lack of green spaces and quality educational resources.
Graphic 2: In Little Village (area 30) 28.1% of households like under the poverty rate. This is almost double the average of the Chicago area, which stands at 18.7%
Universidad Popular believes that the youth themselves and their parents hold the key to the solution to this lethal problem. It was out of this perspective that Universidad Popular has lead a series of efforts focused around our Building Blocks of Peace campaign. Recently, we approached the DART FOUNDATION to seek its support to carry out our youth education work toward community safety and, ultimately, peace in this part of Chicago.
Universidad Popular is very glad with DART Foundation’s response to its quest for partnership in our effort to tackle such an empowering education effort: It awarded a $5,000 grant to get this project off the ground this Fall.

Thomas Damasica (upper row, second from left), an executive with Dart Container Corporation, and Carmen Lemus (lower row, second from left), an employee of Dart Container Corporation and also a DILIPRO participant of Universidad Popular delivering the grant award to Olivia F. Godinez (lower row, third from left), the Executive Director of Universidad Popular, flanked by other members of UP involved in implementing this project.

Talleres GRATIS para Embarazadas en Octubre

promo octubre

Desde el pasado mes, es posible que hayas podido escuchar los sábados en la mañana en Universidad Popular (UP) un poco de música árabe-marroquí mientras a la vez, comienza a desfilar tras nuestras puertas una nueva población de mujeres sonrientes listas para mover sus vientres llenos de vida y educarse para un proceso de embarazo más gentil y respetado. Esto ocurre tras nuestro lanzamiento de servicios y clases gratuitas para las mujeres embarazadas de la comunidad de La Villita. La diversidad de servicios que hemos desarrollado para las mujeres embarazadas, ha sido uno muy holístico y completo para garantizar que las mujeres puedan apoderarse a ellas y a otras mujeres de la comunidad no tan solo en su proceso de embarazo, mas también a través de su proceso de parto y post parto.

Este proyecto piloto nace de conversaciones internas sobre la realidad y retos del acceso a los servicios y recursos de salud que enfrentamos no tan solo en la comunidad en general, sino también en la comunidad de mujeres embarazadas en la zona. Cuando una embrazada de la Villita busca servicios alternativos de salud y/o talleres para embarazadas, la mayoría de estos servicios se encuentran en el norte de la ciudad. Cuando los consigue en su zona, los precios no son necesariamente los más accesibles. Esta situación compromete los servicios de salud reproductiva que una mujer embarazada no tan solo necesita, mas también, tiene derecho recibir. Esto es por lo tanto, un asunto de salud pública que en UP decidimos trabajar en comunidad a través del aprendizaje participativo para transformar esta realidad y la vida de las mujeres embarazadas de la comunidad.

Las clases son gratuitas y se llevan a cabo en nuestras facilidades como parte del programa de Health Literacy Initiative (Healin) que tiene como objetivo mejorar la calidad de vida de los residentes de la Villita. Las clases se impartirán mayoritariamente los sábados en la mañana. La próxima clase será Remedios para Malestares del Embarazo seguido por Danza Terapia, una clase divertida que utiliza técnicas de danza del vientre de Marruecos, el día 4 de octubre a las 10AM y a las 12 pm.. Otras clases incluyen Clases de Parto y Preparación para el Proceso de Parto. La Instructora es una Doula Certificada, Partera Auxiliar y Educadora Perinatal del Proyecto de Mamá Aicha de nuestra comunidad de La Villita. Para calendario y registro, por favor llame a 773-733-5055 o visite nuestra página en Facebook.

Conozca a Nuestras Ganadoras de la Feria del Mole

Las siguientes biografías fueron escritas por nuestras ganadoras de la novena Feria del Mole de Universidad Popular. En ellas narran un poco de sus vidas y de sus procesos de hacer Mole. Las felicitamos a todas y les deseamos un año lleno de felicidad y, claro, ¡Mole!

Primer Lugar: Elidia Tinajero

First Place
Elidia Tinajero. Mesa #1

Originaria de Acámbaro Guanajuato. Gané el primer lugar gracias a Dios y al apoyo de mi familia y la gente. Sin el apoyo de la familia no se logra mucho. Este es el segundo año que gano el primer lugar. Cocino mi mole en casa y lo he promocionado con familia y amistades y les gusta a todos. Pusimos mucho esfuerzo en promocionar la Feria del Mole en Chicago. Invitamos más gente al evento de aquí de Chicago aunque vivo en Indiana.  Mi receta es del origen de la familia de abuelas y tías. He ido juntando lo mejor de la familia y combino los ingredientes de mucha gente. He combinado los sabores y he quitado uno de esos ingredientes que es el anís. Hace tres años gané el tercer lugar y después he ganado dos veces el primer lugar. Tenía temor de enfrentarme con personas de Oaxaca y Veracruz, que es hablar de palabras grandes ya que son unos moles muy buenos, pero me animé. Ahora vendo mi mole.  Tengo el gusto de hacer la comida con amor y ver que están degustando de mi comida, esa es la satisfacción mas grande. ¡Sí se puede! Para las personas que no ganaron tienen que tener fe. Espero que con haber ganado pueda hacer mi propio negocio. Viví en chicago durante 11 años en Back of the Yards y en la 25 y Whipple.  Mi deseo es regresar a vivir en Chicago.  Vivo en Indianapolis, Indiana por motivos del trabajo de mi esposo.  Si me encargan el mole para una fiesta siempre tengo la pasta lista para algún pedido. Preparo la pasta, la pongo en el refrigerador y la voy cocinando para eventos o fiestas y me voy a prepararlo en persona. Me cambió la vida el haber participado en la Feria del Mole, me subió el autoestima. Me gusta ser una persona activa y este evento me ha animado a seguir adelante.

Segundo Lugar: María Del Carmen

Second Place
(Al lado derecho) María del Carmen. Mesa #9

Originaria del estado de México, Cerro del Campo, municipio Amatepec, México. Llegué a UP por las clases de inglés. Supe de la feria del mole por la señora Ascención.  La receta del mole es de mi mamá pero lo modifiqué a mi gusto.Trabajo en casa cocinando y cuando tengo pedidos de panes o trabajo no asisto a la escuela por preparar la comida que vendo.  Trabajo haciendo mi comida para sustentar a mi familia.  Me sentí bien contenta por haber participado, fue una distracción. Me acompañó mi hija Karina.  Yo preparé el mole, fueron 10 libras de chile de todo lo que compré. Tardé en hacer el mole para el evento un día de preparación y cocinado en dos horas. Voy a la Iglesia de Santa Rita en la Fairfield y 63.  Tengo viviendo en Chicago 21 años. Mi sueño es un restaurante chiquito para trabajar. Trabajé en una pastelería y aprendí a hacer galletas y pasteles. Después de la feria del mole me fui a festejar. Gracias a Dios.

Tercer Lugar: Maria González

Third Place
María González. Mesa #3

Originaria de Michoacán. Casada con 5 hijos todos aquí viviendo en Chicago por 26 años. Yo vivo cerca de Gurnee Mall.  Viajo más de una hora de camino con la familia.  Viajamos en carros. Supe de la feria del mole por mi hija y me inscribió en el concurso.  Mi mole es receta familiar y ya mis hijas saben hacerlo y tienen la misma sazón.  Compré como 4 libras de chile ancho y chile guajillo. Mi familia me ayudó para preparar el mole, me llevé como unas 5 horas haciendo el mole trabajando con todas ellas. Yo le puse toda la sazón. Estaban muy emocionadas de ayudar. Me sentí muy nerviosa durante el evento. Le di a mucha gente a probar el mole. Medía el mole para repartir. Servía mucho y luego servía poco para que alcanzara.  Preparo el mole para la casa y luego me dicen mis hermanas que les ayude para sus fiestas.  Durante la feria del mole me preguntaron donde podían comprarlos.  Volvería a participar para el próximo año.  Todo el evento me pareció muy bien.

UP and Running wins the race

UP and Running wins the race

The UP and Running Team of Universidad Popular’s UPrising Youth Program at the starting line.

On September 14, staff and youth from Universidad Popular’s very own youth program, Uprising, participated in the first 5K in the program’s history. Training and conditioning leading up to the race occurred weekly, and on the same day of “Las Fiestas Patrias,” the 19 runners representing Uprising were more than prepared to cross the finish line.

photo 3
Michelle Rossette won first place in her category with a time of  29:52
photo 4
Luis Estrada won first place in his category with a time of 22:29

We’d like to congratulate all of the youth who participated, especially our very own Michelle Rosette and Luis Estrada, who took first place in their age categories. With your help, we want the UP and Running team to continue to participate in more events like this. You can show your support by sponsoring a youth or by taking part in upcoming fundraising efforts. We’re excited to have you run with us next year!

Yet another smiling set of runners.

Estefania Espinoza

UPrising Youth Council Presents to Community Leaders

UPrising’s Youth Leadership Council was invited to the Little Village Youth Safety Network quarterly meeting yesterday to present on their project for the 22nd Ward’s Participatory Budget. Diana, Joshua, Reynaldo, and Kimberly represented the Youth Council, which allows the youth in the community to have a voice and advocate for change.

Youth Council presenting their PB22 campaign  to community leaders in Little Village
Youth Council presenting their PB22 campaign to community leaders in Little Village

The Youth Council worked on the campaign for more than three months; planning how we could have better lighting outdoors for safety. They organized themselves to make sure everyone in the council had different tasks. They also made sure that this was a participatory campaign, interviewing youth, leading activities about youth organizing and participating in weekly meetings with different people in the community.

Youth Council leads an activity about youth organizing
Youth Council leads an activity about youth organizing

The youth worked on a video to show on the PB 22 Expo at LVLHS. Lastly, after all the organizing and outreach, the youth started door knocking around the community to get people to vote for their community project. At the meeting, some of the community leaders at the table asked the Youth Council what their next objective is. Kimberly responded, “We are going to keep making change in the community!” Diana also added, “After all the accomplishments, now we are confident we can make change in the community.”

Youth Council members voting for PB22 community projects
Youth Council members voting for PB22 community projects

Building Blocks of Peace 7/24/2014

Block Party

Thousands of Little Village residents of all walks of life, abilities, and experiences came together today Thursday July 24th, 2014 to celebrate our Little Village community on Universidad Popular’s (UP) block of 28th st. between Ridgeway and Hamlin Ave. Building Blocks of Peace, as the series of block parties is called, strives to inform and educate community residents of the importance of keeping an active and vibrant community. Focused on street closures to open up spaces that give kids and adults supervised spaces to enjoy outdoor activities such as sports, games, and dancing UP has joined with the City of Chicago and the Department of Public Health to host some of this year’s “PlayStreets” planned in various communities.


Our participants, youth, community members, and facilitators were directly involved in the planning, coordinating, and implementing of this block party. In the span of four hours neighbors had a chance to participate in healthy activities such as yoga, zumba, and dancing; youth and children had the opportunity to play soccer, basketball, practice their riding skills in a bike rodeo, paint to their heart’s desires, enjoy cooking, face painting, and an exhilarating game of water balloon toss.


Aside from the countless number of fun and healthy activities, we also hosted a teach-in celebrating the Americans with Disabilities Act’s 24th anniversary. Differently abled community members shared their life stories and spoke about the issues facing their community in Chicago. Several of the speakers mentioned to us that this was the first time they had the opportunity to speak in a public event about the issues that mattered to them. It is especially this type of space that Universidad Popular seeks to create in all of its events and programs: an inclusive space where residents can teach and learn from each other while discussing and creating solutions and projects that matter to them collectively and cooperatively. 



Feria del Mole History


The 9th Feria del Mole



The first Feria del Mole was organized by a group of 15 to 20 women who were partaking part in Universidad Popular’s Women’s Empowerment Program. These women, ages 25-60, were coming together once a week to discuss their lives, families, hopes, dreams, and support each other. At the time, Olivia Flores-Godinez was leading the group, and the main theme was “self-esteem development.” Olivia kept hearing disempowering remarks from these participants, all Mexican immigrants and mainly homemakers: “I’m not good at anything,” or “I’m not smart,” or “I don’t have any skills – how will I get a job or help my children do their homework?”

One day, Olivia asked these women if they any were good at cooking. All of them responded with a resounding “YES!” The dish that they most prided themselves on was their mole. Sharing this conversation with the staff a few days later, one of them, and one coworker mentioned a very popular “feria del mole” festival in a pueblo near Mexico City. Perhaps UP participants could put together their own “feria.” Thus was born the Feria del Mole in Chicago, an opportunity for women (and some men!) in the community to put their culinary skills on display at this community festival, with. Thus far, at least, five of the Feria del Mole winners have started their own home businesses, catering private parties and events with their famous mole. The event has also become an annual fundraiser for Universidad Popular’s community empowerment programs for youth, adults, and seniors.

What is mole?

The world “mole” comes from the Aztec word “molli,” meaning concoction, stew or sauce. To the uninformed, mole is a Mexican sauce. In Mexico, mole is a hundred dishes in a hundred homes: It varies not only from region to region but also from town to town. There are many kinds of mole: Poblano, originating from the state of Puebla, is the most famous of the three. The mole poblano is a complex dish carefully woven together using dried chiles, nuts, seeds, vegetables, spices and chocolate (preferably ground and toasted cacao beans). While mole is a traditional dish prepared to celebrate special occasions, it is also served as the main course of many family dinners.

Feria del Mole 2014: Food, music, fun, and prizes   

Universidad Popular will celebrate its 8th annual “Feria del Mole” on September 27, 2014.   The Feria will take place at Little Village High School 3120 S. Kostner Avenue. Over 3,000 people from all over Chicago will come to participate in this fair at least 40 women and men compete with their home-made recipes to be awarded the “Best Mole in Chicago.” Awards are based on majority votes. There will also be cash prizes: $1000 for “First Best Mole,” $650 for “Second Best Mole,” for the “third Best Mole,” $450 and $300 for “Best Table Decoration” and $250 for “Best Traditional Dress.”

With admission, guests receive ballots to taste as many moles as they like, and vote for their favorite.  Besides the mole-tasting, the event includes booths promoting event sponsors, music and performances by local artists. Celebrity judges will vote on “best dressed” and “best table decoration.”

Become a Sponsor

We are currently seeking sponsors for La Feria del Mole 2014. This is an excellent opportunity to market your company and/or product to 3,000 Hispanic consumers. As a sponsor, you will receive:

  • Recognition as Presenting Sponsor on printed invitations and online
  • Media recognition in PSAs (public service announcements)
  • Company logo and name inclusion on all Feria del Mole promotional materials
  • Prominent logo placement and branding on stage
  • Recognition as Presenting Sponsor in all press releases and media alerts
  • Prominent logo inclusion on UP website page promoting the Feria del Mole (with reciprocal link)
  • Logo inclusion and recognition in e-blasts promoting the Feria del Mole
  • Reserved booth for promotional giveaways and product sampling



Contact us today to discuss the sponsorship: 
Phone: 773-733-5055