Berto Aguayo is a proud Back of the Yards native where was raised by a single mother who emigrated from Mexico. Berto’s struggles and experiences as a former gang member have led him on an ardent journey toward social justice through community organizing and civic engagement. Berto holds two bachelor's degrees in Political Science and Economics, and he is currently a community organizer at The Resurrection Project.
Before The Resurrection Project, Berto worked with Mikva Challenge, he was appointed by Mayor Emanuel to the My Brother’s Keeper Cabinet, and he organized the Hoops in the Hood program in Back of the Yards. As an organizer, Berto has trained hundreds of young people in organizing in the civic arena so that they can begin to see themselves as agents of change through an initiative called #IncreaseThePeace. Through the initiative, those group of leaders have mobilized more than 1,000 youth in Chicago to combat the issue of gang violence through a series of campouts in Chicago’s south side. Berto is also the Youth Director at the St. Michael's Social Center. The social center is a safe haven for youth in the community. It provides sport's programming, workforce readiness, and mentoring.
More recently, Berto worked with the Obama Foundation training young leaders across the country through the Community Leadership Corps program.
Berto is the recipient of USHLI’s young Hispanic Leader Award, a scholar of the Aspen Institute’s Latinos and Society Program, and a Civic Seminary Fellow at Citizen University.