Berto Aguayo (Chicago, Illinois) was born to parents who emigrated from Mexico; his story begins in the southside of Chicago. Growing up in a single parent home, his mother Rosy worked long hours to provide for her children. And like many others in his shoes, he turned to a gang for acceptance. With the help of his H.S. director, Aguayo got involved with the Mikva Challenge, an organization that helps teenagers get involved in politics. Mikva’s placement of Aguayo in a northside Alderman’s office, sparked Aguayo’s interest in public service and inspired him to get off the streets and leave the gang life. He was the victim of a brutal beating three years ago that allowed him to cut ties with the gang he joined when he was 13-yearsold. Aguayo is now a near 4.0 student at Dominican University majoring in political science and economics while serving two years as student body president. This summer, Aguayo is coordinating the annual Hoops in the Hood program in his neighborhood and is interning at the Illinois Coalition for Immigration and Refugee Rights (ICIRR). He will go to Washington D.C. to partake in the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute Internship. Next year, he hopes to go to law school. (Attended Aspen Institute Latinos and Society Latino Civic Participation Deep Dive)
2015 Ricardo Salinas Scholar, Ricardo Salinas Scholarship
Berto Aguayo (Chicago, Illinois) was born to parents who emigrated from Mexico; his story begins in the southside of Chicago.