Juan Salgado, President and CEO of the Instituto del Progreso Latino in Chicago, IL, was just named one of this year’s recipient’s for the MacArthur Genius Grant. His Instituto has pioneered a new method of teaching called Contextualized Learning, in which he works with students in all walks of life, customizing their education with a field of employment in mind. In other words, if someone wishes to become a Registered Nurse, he or she will learn subject matter and vocabulary targeted at strengthening a medical knowledge base. His success in this has been immense; hence, the genius grant.

Part of the Instituto’s Vision Statement states that “The needs of the community it serves have helped define Instituto’s character of achievement through its high-quality programs in workforce development, adult education, youth development, youth education, and citizenship preparation.”*

This is double-force contextualization: driven by the needs of the community to further and strengthen the community in a very specific way! Ultimately, education is power. We all agree that empowering young learners, especially in America’s growing communities, is the most brilliant move we can make for the future!

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RosH3OM1Qdc&w=560&h=315]

*Instituto del Progreso Latino