Courtesy Lindsey Turner
Today, AARP Experience Corps announced its selection of Myrna I. Torres as executive director for their new and fast growing Chicago operations, which will provide in-classroom tutoring in 15 Chicago Public Schools during the 2013-2014 school year. Torres brings 30 years of non-profit experience, the majority of which has been with Chicago-area children and youth-serving organizations. Torres has worked with After School Matters, a Chicago nonprofit organization serving high school youth with a variety of apprenticeship out-of-school programs. During her time there, she engaged with Chicago Public High School science teachers, local universities, and city museums to generate research and pilot upstart programs. The aim of the program was to increase the number of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) programs available to students. Further, Torres has worked with Gads Hill Center, a Pilsen and North Lawndale-based children’s and youth non-profit providing educational services, as well as with Prevention First, Inc., a statewide non-profit focusing on substance abuse prevention. She comes directly from Torres Optimal Solutions, of which she was President. The firm provides executive leadership training to non-profit organizations. AARP Experience Corps welcomes Torres aboard as the Chicago branch has recently opened offices in downtown Chicago.
“We are excited and honored to have Myrna on board. Our Chicago office will benefit greatly from her steady and experienced hand. AARP Experience Corps Chicago will be a great partner with the Chicagoland community, and Ms. Torres will provide the leadership that is associated with the AARP name,” says Laura Chambers, Director of Field Services for AARP Experience Corps.
Torres holds a B.A. in Sociology from Northeastern Illinois University, a certificate granted from a non-profit management fellowship administered by Roosevelt University, and certification from the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching. She is also the founding board member of the Latino Coalition for Prevention as well as a founding member of the Latino Giving Circle. She has recently started at AARP Experience Corps.
AARP Experience Corps is collaborating with Chicago Public Schools to achieve grade-level reading proficiency in all of its students. AARP Experience Corps has a history of success in the schools in which it operates. According to 2011-2012’s Experience Corps’ Teacher Surveys, approximately two thirds of below grade-level students made substantial progress towards grade level proficiency in phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension while working with Experience Corps volunteers.
About AARP Experience Corps
AARP Experience Corps has a track record of improving literacy among American youth. According to research from Washington University in St. Louis, students working one-on-one with Experience Corps tutors gained more than a 60 percent boost in two critical literacy skills – sounding out new words and reading comprehension – over similar students not being served by Experience Corps. Additionally, 84 percent of our volunteers reported the participation has changed their lives for the better – including increased motivation, knowledge, confidence and skills. Currently, 2,000 AARP Experience Corps volunteers serve 22,000 K-3 students in schools across the country. We’re currently seeking nearly 400 Chicagoland volunteers for 3,600 students for the 2013-2014 school year. For more information, go to www.aarp.org/ecchicago.