While LP’s Teatro Americano has made a name for itself in the Little Village, Pilsen and Back of the Yards communities for its hard-hitting original plays about the Latino experience in Chicago, the lesser known stories are those behind the scenes—the stories of 10 students gathered on a Friday night for acting and writing workshops for their upcoming tour, and the stories of ensemble members like Jennifer Idrovo.
Jennifer began her involvement with Latinos Progresando in 2008 as an apprentice in Teatro Americano, learning to research, write, produce and perform original plays about her and her friends’ experiences, while also building creativity, leadership and project management skills.
Jennifer performed in two year-end showcases as a Teatro Americano apprentice (in the role of protagonist both times); she also performed as part of the ensemble—the second, more professional, tier of the program—in two shows, and led workshops at a local high school during Family Reading Night.
Jennifer Idrovo (left)
Her dedication and integrity as an apprentice and performer earned her an internship at LP, where she consistently demonstrated her level of commitment to her community, volunteering many hours to make sure that other youth in her neighborhood were able to access the same opportunities that have been afforded her.
An exemplary student, Jennifer is able to balance several Advanced Placement courses at one of Chicago’s best college preparatory high schools, a long commute to and from home, and a number of extracurricular activities, in addition to her participation in Teatro Americano.
Those beyond LP have also taken notice—Jennifer was recently named a Posse Scholar, which in addition to the incredible recognition, provides her with a full-tuition scholarship to Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut.
It has been an honor watching Jennifer evolve into the young woman that she is today. In everything she does, Jennifer represents herself with a great deal of poise, speaks with conviction, and demonstrates an incredible commitment to her family and community. She speaks about the new face of leadership—seeing herself and her peers as a new generation of socially-conscious community leaders.
But Jennifer’s story is not the only one: in the past few weeks, Francisco Gutierrez and Martha Razo, both Teatro Americano members, were both accepted to four-year universities—Francisco to Columbia College in Chicago and Martha to Knox College in Galesberg, IL. We can’t wait to see what these amazing young leaders are able to accomplish.
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