About Us

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PODER prepares Spanish-speaking adult immigrants to seize opportunities in Chicago through comprehensive, tuition-free English education and job training programs. Our professional, disciplined approach ensures that all students learn to understand and communicate in English to confidently navigate daily life. Every student who commits to PODER’s positive and disciplined learning environment is empowered to build a successful new life in Chicago.Students from all education levels are welcome. PODER assesses and places each student by language level to ensure that all students can progress through the program at the right pace. Students without formal education complete basic coursework in Spanish, with natives of Mexico earning formal primary and secondary school diplomas through PODER’s partnership with the Mexican government.

As students advance in PODER’s English program, they become eligible for job training courses that prepare them to enter Chicago’s labor market within industries where bilingual employee demand is high. Oprima-1, the capstone of the program, is a unique work/study opportunity through which students earn income while training to become bilingual customer service representatives. Within eighteen months on average, 100% of Oprima-1 graduates are placed in full-time employment with corporate partners.