Doing good is "about now, not later," .MacArthur Fellow and Illinois Wesleyan University alumnus Juan Salgado maintained during last week's Student Senate’s annual “Do Good” lecture at Illinois Wesleyan University.
"While you have that energy and enthusiasm and vitality, while you have everything to give and absolutely nothing to lose," said Salgado, president and CEO of Instituto del Progreso Latino, which creates educational and workforce opportunities for Latino communities in Chicago. "When you are doing action research or volunteerism or opening the doors for others, you're really opening the doors for yourself in so many different ways."
Salgado was recognized as a 2011 White House Champion for Change for Social Innovation. In 2010, he was the recipient of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund Excellence in Community Service Award.
Based on his leadership on the educational, political and economic advancement of the Latino community, Salgado was named one of 24 MacArthur Fellows in 2015. Funded by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the so-called “genius grants” award each recipient $625,000, paid over five years with no strings attached, as an investment in the recipient’s originality, insight and potential. MacArthur Fellows are recognized for their extraordinary originality and dedication in their individual creative pursuits and a marked capacity for self-direction.
Salgado is a 1991 graduate of Illinois Wesleyan with a major in economics. He won a graduate fellowship to study at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, where he earned a master’s degree in urban planning. Illinois Wesleyan granted Salgado an honorary doctor of humane letters degree at Commencement in 2013.
Illinois Wesleyan’s Student Senate sponsors the “Do Good” speaker series. The “Do Good” title refers to President Minor Myers, Jr., who concluded each Commencement ceremony admonishing graduates to “go forth in the world and do well, but more importantly, do good.”
Salgado’s presentation, entitled “The World Needs You,” will be held in the Hansen Student Center and is free and open to the public. It is part of the events and activities surrounding the inauguration of President Eric Jensen on April 2.