Universidad Popular welcomes Vanderbilt University’s students once again for their Spring-break experience in Chicago.
The week of March 7th to Mach 11th, 2016, Universidad Popular’s adult education LEARNING TO SUCCEED, English Language Development Program and the youth after-school program had, once again, the opportunity to exchange life experiences and re-enforce learning skills with 10 students from Vanderbilt University’s Alternative Spring Break from Nashville, Tennessee.
Facilitators and participants alike had a meaningful experience by sharing their why’s and their struggles of learning a new language. Participants had the opportunity to work in small groups which facilitate their learning processes. Vanderbilt University students from were able to use their language skills to help our participants feel more comfortable asking and answering questions to strangers. But most importantly, they had the opportunity to get to know each other and share life experiences.
Universidad Popular is very thankful for this great interacting and we invite anyone who wants to support our community empowerment mission to come out and start building bridges with us. The only degree required is to care for people.
Here are some comments from Vanderbilt University students’ experiences including a video during our health literacy activity -Zumba
Reflections from Vanderbilt University Alternative Spring Break
I thoroughly enjoyed spending time at Universidad Popular with its vibrant and passionate community. Though only here for a short time. I made great relationships with the participants and community at large. I am sad to go, since I learned so much about the people of “La Villita” and their stories as well as a little more about myself.
Getting to directly interact with the participants and people here was always a happy occasion, and was probably my favorite aspect about UP. Universidad Popular is not just a place for people to come to learn English or simply pass the time, but a place where the community comes together to learn from each other as they try to better themselves and the community. Universidad Popular is a school for life.
Coming in to tutoring my first day at UP, I had no idea what to expect. However immediately when I walked into the room, I noticed how warm and friendly everyone was. Cesar and all the participants were so kind and welcoming. Everyone is really dedicated to learning English, and it was an amazing experience to help them. Even in just one week, I was able to connect and help my participants. Not only did they learn, but so did I. I loved every moment from presentations to Zumba to playing soccer with the kids at Universidad Popular. I wish I could come back and continue to be involved.
It has been a pleasure working with Universidad Popular this week. I’ve been blowing away by this organization’s mission and focus on the community and its members as more than just clients or students. It’s been so inspiring and eye-opening to spend time in conversation with all of the participants and hear their stories and hard work and resilience. I’m so thankful that Universidad Popular has graciously given us the opportunity to learn more about this community and its people. UP has been so welcoming in letting us be members of this community for the short week we were here. Being able to partake in the experience here has been an invaluable experience and memory. I leave Chicago and UP with so much more knowledge about the both the assets and needs of this community, with great experiences, and most importantly new friends. Thank you to UP for welcoming us into this wonderful, constructive community.
At Universidad Popular I learned the realities of many Latinos living in the US. It was amazing receiving the drive and desire that all the participants have to learn English. Better their lives and living situations here. It was also so interesting hearing everybody’s story –it gave me so much appreciation for the effort they display and the difficulties they face every day. The kids were so full of life and welcoming to us. Even though we broke their normal routine. It was great to see them in a program like this to keep them safe, busy and enriched outside of school I hope to see UP get more funding in the future because this is such a special place to the Latino community. I wish you all the very best in the future and I hope to visit one day!
¡Muchísimas gracias por la oportunidad de servir en Universidad Popular durante esta semana! Universidad Popular es una comunidad especial y siento que estaba invitado a ser parte de esta comunidad y familia. A pesar de que solamente hemos estado aquí por un poco de tiempo. He disfrutado la experiencia de acompañar a los participantes de Universidad Popular en su camino de aprender inglés, especialmente como estoy aprendiendo español. Fue un placer juntarnos en el esfuerzo de aprender nuevos lenguajes, pero aún más importante fue la oportunidad de aprender mutuamente sobre nuestras experiencias.
Espero que podamos volver a “La Villita” en el futuro y pasar más tiempo con la comunidad linda.
The last week at Universidad Popular have been incredibly eye-opening. My interaction with the adults in the ESL class were so full of joy. I was so impressed by the openness of the community as they welcomed us into their homes I want to emphasize the bravery I saw in every person who came to Chicago in search of a new life and came to UP in search of a new language. Learning a new language is a huge undertaking, and a commitment that should not take lightly. Keep studding because I can’t wait to hear all about your English journey when I come back.
Working with the kids and adults at Universidad Popular has been such an enriching experience. I have never been exposed to a community like Little Village and getting to know the members of the community one on one was very eye opening. Before coming here I only saw the Hispanic community as a group of people that exists in this community. I’ve learned a lot from everyone and really appreciate the opportunity given to me to interact with them.
I cannot say enough positive things about our experience at UP. We loved the opportunity to interact with and learn from this vibrant community.
From our group’s conversations throughout our week in Little Village, it was clear that everyone had been touched by the stories we hear at UP.
Many thanks to Cesar and every staff member here for their dedication to helping this community.
Mil gracias a todos en UP, de parte de todo nuestro grupo, fue una bendición estar en La Villita.
I really appreciate how community-driven UP is and it’s really apparent how much Cesar cares about the community and helping improve the lives of its residents.
I had a ton of fun getting to know the individual stories of the Advance English class participants, and I’m truly tanksful for the experience –It was really educational and I now have a new perspective to look at world issues through. Up is doing amazing work in the community, and it’s clear that all the Little Village residents love being here. Thank you for all that you do!
Spending time with the participants, facilitators and administrators at Universidad Popular has been truly inspiring. From interacting with participants who are determined to advance for their good and that of their family. To the facilitators and administrators who invest not only their efforts but their hearts into the lives of others. Each interaction with the people at UP has filled me with hope for the future of the Latino community.
I had so much from spending the week here has been worthwhile. Thank you for opening your doors to us students, as learning about your institution and mission will be one of the most important learning experiences as college students. Thanks and God Bless!
To connect your students with us at Universidad Popular please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org