Yesterday, the Migration Policy Institute's National Center on Immigrant Integration Policy announced that the Carlos Rosario International Public Charter School had won its E Pluribus Unum Prize for its work in improving the lives of over 60,000 immigrants coming to this country. The award was presented at a ceremony last evening which included a keynote address by Congressman Luis Gutierrez and comes complete with a $50,000 gift. Other winners this year included the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition (MIRA), the St. Paul, Minnesota Neighborhood Development Center, and Kaiser Permanente, which received the group's 2013 Corporate Leadership Award.
The Prize represents another milestone for Carlos Rosario founder Sonia Gutierrez who has been providing workforce development and English as a second language training to adults since 1970. With the opening of its new second campus in September the charter now educates approximately 3,000 students a year.
The Institute was impressed with the components of the Carlos Rosario program that I recently wrote about. The school not only teaches English and other literary programs but prepares its students to be cooks, information technology professionals, and registered nursing assistants. An education at Carlos Rosario also includes the support services students need to be successful in the job market. It was mentioned to me during my last visit to the school that Ms. Gutierrez cannot go to a restaurant in the nation's capital without the entire staff pausing to say hello and thank her for her help.
Ms. Gutierrez commented on winning the Prize, "As we seek to improve and build upon our efforts locally, we also are focused on replicating our model not only in the United States but also internationally, and this award validates our vision and efforts to help immigrants' fulfill their dreams."
The Migration Policy Institute's National Center on Immigrant Integration Policy created the E Pluribus Unum Prize in 2008 with financial contributions from the J.M. Kaplan Fund. The intent of giving out this national award is to "encourage the adoption of effective integration practices and inspire others to take on the important work of integrating immigrants and their children so they can join the mainstream of U.S. society.
I could not think of a more worthy recipient than the Carlos Rosario International Public Charter School.