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CPS Teacher Finalist for the Global Teaching Prize!

In the Southwest Side of Chicago, at Curie Metropolitan High School, with little to nothing to work with, Melinda Wilson teaches ballet, jazz, and modern. She not only pushes her students physically and academically, but she also pushes them to be better human beings. 

(Courtesy of Facebook)

Since 2015, with their #teachersmatter belief, the Varkey Foundation has sought out teachers going above and beyond, around the globe, and rewarding one with $1M- the Global Teaching Prize. This year, chosen over 30,000 nominees, Chicago’s own Ms. Wilson has made it to the top 50 finalists.

(Courtesy of GIPHY)

Check out her WGN News interview here!

Ms. Wilson has choreographed and put together 2-3 concerts, a year, for 20 years, at the school, and always finds more opportunities outside of school for her students, such as various Dance Chicago showcases, Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade, etc.; she’s even traveled with her students to New York, Florida, Kentucky, Paris, Barcelona, and Italy! Not only does she teach dance at Curie, but she also teaches at Hubbard Street Dance Studio.

(Courtesy of Facebook)

I was a Curie graduate and had the privilege of being part of the Curie Dance Department and work with Ms. Wilson for 3+ years. She always sees the potential in people, and she’s never scared to push until it’s brought out, and then she brings out even more. She shared with us her passion for the arts, but also supported our other academic struggles, was a listening ear and a shoulder to cry on, and always motivated us to strive for more and never settle, regardless of where we come from and who tries to stop us- she was our Momma Wilson. High school was a very rocky time for me, and I honestly don’t know where I would have ended up without Momma Wilson. Granted, just being a finalist is amazing, but if anyone deserves this award, it’s her.

(Personal Picture)

One thing you need to know about Momma Wilson is that SHE GOES THERE. When she sets her mind on something, especially if she feels strongly about it, there is no stopping her creativity. If you don’t believe me, come check out her Human Trafficking Awareness Project, February 22nd at Curie, or on April 14th at CHITEEN LIT FEST!

(Courtesy of Facebook)

Hey there! I'm Dolores Contreras, but call me Lola! I am a senior at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), majoring in English with a concentration in Creative Writing and minoring in Sociology. This is my first semester writing for HerCampus and I'm super excited! It's not just a chance to get more involved on campus, but it's also creating this door of opportunities for life after college, ya' know? And what's best? Putting my writing to work! Yas! 
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