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Embracing my heritage series: Andrew Avila

Andrew Avila came to the Chicago Center in the fall of 2020, where he student taught at Murray Language Academy and A.N. Pritzker School. Following his time at the Center, he began teaching 5th and 6th grade science at Bronzeville Classical School. He strives to bring his students awareness and representation of Hispanic and Latinx culture.

CC: What does Hispanic Heritage Month mean to you?

AA: Hispanic Heritage Month is a month to celebrate the achievements that Hispanics have

contributed to the United States. I also believe that it is a month to reflect on our current

practices and how we can incorporate the knowledge and cultural benefits of the Hispanic

community into our local communities. Hispanics are often not perceived in the most

positive light, but this month allows us to shine bright.

CC: How do you celebrate your heritage?

AA: I celebrate my heritage through food. I love to cook and eat all types of Mexican food.

CC: While at the Chicago Center, did you ever visit any Hispanic neighborhoods? If so, where did you go?

AA: While living at the center, I did travel to Hispanic neighborhoods within the city. I visited

Pilsen, Little Village, and Humboldt Park. Little Village has better Mexican food than


CC: Tell us about the work you do now and how you feel you are impacting the
community/communities you serve.

AA: I currently work as a 5/6th grade science teacher in the Chicago Public Schools. Not only do I serve the local community through teaching, but also through representation. There are very few Latinx teachers that teach in the United States. I never had a teacher that shared my culture until I reached college. I love sharing my culture with my students and giving them a proper representation of Mexican-American culture.

CC: Tell us about any success or highlights since your Chicago Center experience that
we can share with our community!

AA: I still work at Bronzeville Classical School teaching 5/6th grade science. I have received an

additional license in middle school science and have joined my school's Instructional

Leadership Team since leaving the center.

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