Category Archives: Employment

Work Descriptions and Job Opportunities

We are Learning to Succeed!

We are participants at Universidad Popular and we urge Governor Bruce Rauner to please sign Bill SB 2043.  We need to continue learning English. Thank you!

Our program participants took action into their own hands this week to urge Governor Bruce Rauner to please sign SB 2043. A bill that will appropriate State funding to adult education through the Illinois Community College Board.

On Twitter Tuesday, participants posted on UP’s twitter page getting over 320 impressions with followersCapture1On Website Wednesday, participants visited the Governor’s website to sign a petition for SB2043 and urge Rauner to sign the bill.

On Telephone Thursday, participants called the Governor’s Office at 217-782-0244  or 312-814-2121 and asked him to sign SB2043 see a video clip here 20160212_121629

On Facebook Friday we reached over 1000 people, please help us share this post!


Learning to Succeed (LETOS) provides English classes in the morning and evening for immigrant adults, with an emphasis on life skills, civic engagement, and community transformation. The curriculum and teaching method we use is based on popular education; there-fore, participants are encouraged to participate in class, curricula, and evaluation of the program. Classes take place at two different locations in Little Village and in Chicago Lawn.


At the community level the state budget crisis has rippled it’s outer rings and impacted direct services to workforce programs, computer training, after-school youth programs, adult education and family literacy. These programs provide educational training to hard working immigrants residing in the Chicagoland area.

Today, the State of Illinois continues to struggle as community centers fold and many others reduce services to less than 50% capacity. What should we tell people who knock on our doors at night who struggle to pay the rent and keep their homes warm in the cold winters? What should we tell people who are victims of violence due to a rise in crime and gun violence – “Do you want a job?”, “do you want to go to college?” if you don’t sorry we can not help you because you are not contributing to the States economy?

IMG_7296Little do you know these are hard working immigrants, they all have jobs, they all work long hours, they all want to get a better jobs, they all want to go to college or universities. But, they have other responsibilities and commit selfless acts, each person can not surrender thousands of dollars to institutions. Community centers provide a space where each learner gains confidence to build their communication skills to carry out conversations in English with their employers and at demanding times in the doctor’s office or with their children’s teachers. These types of programs must also be funded in order to equip those who can to continue in their educational paths and individual career pipelines even if the end result is a raise or a better position in a job they have committed their entire lives to.

How well do you know people committed to learn English?

“My name is Jose Diaz. I prefer to be called Jose. I was born in Puerto Rico. I am 49 years old. I came to Chicago on February 26th 2009. I am married.”

“My name is Betty Salguero. I prefer to be called Betty. I was born in Guayaquil, Ecuador. I am 47 years old. I came to Chicago on January 2010. I am married. I am a nurse. I like to work at O’Hare airport, I clean.  On my free time I like to watch movies. I love to eat Ecuadorian food. My favorite place to visit is the mall. I like to learn at Universidad Popular. ”

“My name is Maria Elena Romano. I prefer to be called Maria Elena. I was born in Mexico City. I am 61 years old. I came to Chicago on May 26th, 1994. I am married. I like to dance everything. On my free time I like to sing. My favorite food is American food. I am a participant at Universidad Popular since September 2015.”

“My name is Maria Barraza. I prefer to be called Mary. I was born in Durango, Mexico. I am 43 years old. I came to Chicago on October 1989. I am married. I am a first communion catechism teacher. I like to dance and I like to exercise with Zumba.  On my free time I like to watch TV, go to my mother’s house, walk and study English. I love to eat Mexican food. My favorite place to visit is Durango, Mexico. Every day I take my children to school.  I have four children. I work a lot at home and I take care of my mom.”


Universidad Popular Announces BASSET Certification!

Marketing Poster 1Universidad Popular has been working on a campaign that promotes healthy communities–encouraging drug-free youth and  parental awareness about underage drinking among the residents in little village. A series of marketing materials have been dispersed around the neighborhood to raise public awareness. The materials are intended to get parents’ attention and spark discussion with their kids about the negative consequences of alcohol use without using fear as a motivator.

Marketing Poster 5

Apart from the marketing campaign targeting youth and parents, Universidad Popular is also leading efforts to educate the business and service industry in proper protocol regarding alcohol service policies that are meant to prevent youth consumption and reduce consumption abuse by community members.

Marcela Espinoza and Edgar Montelongo will be training servers and employees that work and serve liquor in community of Little Village.  Despite being a requirement for every employee in the establishment serving liquor to to be certified, Universidad Popular wants to make sure our community is not serving minors and is educated on what to do when serving alcohol to adults

The new BASSET law takes effect on July 1, 2015 requiring all on-premise alcohol servers and bouncers in Cook County to attend BASSET, and for ALL Illinois BASSET cardholders to renew their certification every three years.

Beverage Alcohol Sellers and Servers Education and Training (BASSET) is the State of Illinois’ responsible beverage seller/server program. Under the licensing and regulatory auspices of the Illinois Liquor Control Commission, BASSET is designed to encourage profitable, responsible, and legal alcohol sales and service.

Link to BASSET Sign-in

The goals and objectives of the BASSET Program are:

Train and educate sellers and servers to engage in responsible alcohol service;
Spot signs of intoxication and utilize various intervention techniques;
Prevent DUIs and alcohol-related fatalities;
Stop underage sales and underage drinking;
Create safer communities and establishments where alcohol is served;
Educate owners, managers and staff on dram shop insurance, state laws, and local ordinances regarding alcohol service.

If you would like to sign up for our training. Click here!

If you have further questions, feel free reach Marcela or Edgar at (773) 733-5055



Give on #GivingTuesday December 2nd, #ILGiveBig

This coming #GivingTuesday December 2nd 2014, Universidad Popular will be participating in the #ILGiveBig campaign.

What is #ILGiveBig? 


It’s the #GivingTuesday Illinois campaign, a statewide social media movement dedicated to giving. Giving Tuesday allows consumers the opportunity to give to the charities and issues they care about. Right after Black Friday and Cyber Monday, #ILGiveBig’s goal is $12 million raised by Illinois organizations from 100,000 donors on this single day.

Why are we participating?

Universidad Popular’s mission is to reach community empowerment through participatory learning. We work in partnership with community residents and organizations to transform their lives and, ultimately, the community. To be able to implement our mission, we employ over 150 community residents and committed individuals throughout the year. Over 90% of our employees are residents of our primary Latino communities: Little Village/South Lawndale and West Lawn/Chicago Lawn. In collaboration with our dedicated volunteers, they help us implement over 8 year-round programs, countless seasonal projects, and commmunity-focused social campaigns. Unfortunately, we cannot guarantee year-round employment to everyone due to our dependence on seasonal funding–forcing us to reduce our employment numbers by 5/8’s.

We desire to be independent from the uncertainty of grant funding cycles and want to carry out our mission while being able to support these dedicated community residents on a year-round basis.

What can I do?

  • Donate to Universidad Popular and be a part of the #ILGiveBig movement this December 2nd on #GivingTuesday!
  • Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Share, re-tweet, and re-gram #UPLatinCenter to bring attention to our initiatives.
  • Spread the word to everyone you know!
  • Volunteer!