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Miguel A Blancarte, Jr. 



Extending Health and Wellness Access

Age: 33

Director of COVID-19 Response and Community Outreach

Miguel A. Blancarte, Jr. has certain pillars that are fundamental to him: equity, fairness, justice, community and engagement, health and wellness, and education. In his current role, he is responsible for all COVID-19 related matters including testing, operations, and vaccine distribution, and he is also responsible for expanding access to testing in Chicago’s Southwest side. Prior to joining Esperanza, Miguel was with Community Organized Relief Effort (CORE), a humanitarian, non-profit organization, as part of the Chicago COVID-19 Response leadership team providing community-based testing for Chicagoans.

He works to address inequities, inequalities, discrimination, and systemic issues through collaborations with others, and directly reaching out to individuals and communities and connecting them with resources, tools, and education so they can make decisions that make them wholesome, that empower them. 

Miguel was recognized by Latino Leaders Magazine and awarded the Maestro Award and the BMW Ultimate Drive Award. In October 2020, he was awarded the Class Of 2020 Award by The Alumni Society for his leadership, dedication, and courage in addressing the Coronavirus health pandemic, and responding to the Latino community. 

As a first-generation American and college student Miguel earned his bachelor’s degree from Brown University (as a Bill and Melinda Gates Millennium Scholar), and a master’s degree in international business and policy from Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business and the Walsh School of Foreign Service. 

He is a born-and-raised resident and life-long stakeholder of Little Village. You can find him running there five days a week as health and wellness are focal to Miguel after losing 180 pounds in eight months with healthy eating and exercise.

Words of wisdom: “To better understand, connect, and advocate for others, I found it important to keep my eyes, heart, and mind open, to keep my feet on the ground, and my ears in my community. When you find your truth, when something ignites your passion, be relentless. And at the end of a heavy day, set the weight down, rest up, and get up the next morning, ready to persevere, because there’s a lot of work left to do, and there’s a whole lot left in you.”