Building a New Future in North Philadelphia

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The Esperanza Board of Directors is pleased to announce Philadelphia Magazine’s publication of an article that shares a glimpse into the story of Esperanza Founder, President, and CEO Reverend Luis Cortés, Jr.

The story, How Luis Cortés Is Quietly Building a New Notre Dame in the Heart of North Philly, is written by journalist Steve Volk, who has penned stories for Philadelphia Magazine on generational poverty in Philadelphia and racial profiling on the Main Line.

Sharing a broad look at Rev. Luis Cortés’ journey and the growth of Esperanza over the past 30 years, the article recognizes the success of Esperanza’s programs and the long-term effects on the surrounding Hunting Park neighborhood. It includes remarks from former PA governors Ed Rendell and Tom Ridge, PA Senator Art Haywood, and David Ellwood, Director of the Malcolm Wiener Center for Social Policy at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.

The article addresses the reason why Esperanza’s schools, which serve a diverse population, excel and outperform most schools in Philadelphia and across the country: “As a charter, it’s free [sic] Cortés to be bold. Its success hinges on an intimate knowledge of the population it serves and a fervor to try out ideas, to shift resources and policies in ways too dramatic for any large school district to match.”

Volk also quotes Rev. Cortés’ thoughts on role of Latinos in our society: “[We are trying] to get Latinos who are in poverty to a place of self-sufficiency. So the question is one of time: Will we respond now, and mainstream the Latino population through education and job training, or will we wait — and prolong this pain?”

First published on Philadelphia Magazine’s website on November 19, the article also appears in the December 2016 edition of the magazine.

More information on Rev. Luis Cortés and Esperanza’s story is available through this video and on Esperanza’s website. [/full_width]