Monday, December 05, 2005


Bio of Oscar Mireles

208 Madison Street, Deforest, Wisconsin 53532
(608) 577-5737 (608) 846-6878

Oscar Mireles, age 50, is an educator, writer and school administrator from Racine, Wisconsin.

Mr. Mireles has been the Executive Director of Omega School for the past 11 years. Omega School provides adult basic education services (GED Preparation) in several sites in Dane County, including it's main facility on Sherman Avenue, two neighborhood centers, and the Dane County Jail. During his tenure, Mr. Mireles has assisted over 1500 young adults with securing a GED/HSED credential. The GED/HSED credential serves as an access point for entry level employment and/or post-secondary education. Mr. Mireles helped establish an endowment for the school and in 2006 is in the process of raising funds to purchasing a building and permanent home for Omega School.

Mr. Mireles was employed for 10 years in various positions at Centro de la Communidad Unida/United Community Center (UCC) in Milwaukee, before being promoted to Associate Executive Director.

As Director of Economic development at UCC he helped develop Cafe El Sol, a restaurant and catering operation, from sales in 1986 of $35,000 to sales of over $350,000 in 1992. As Director of Cultural Arts was instrumental in developing artistic programs and raising funds for the renovation of a former church into a 200 seat theater and arts gallery for latinos in the Walker Point neighborhood of Milwaukee. As Assistant Director, Mireles helped with the merger with Bruce Guadalupe Community School and UCC and was involved in the establishment of the UCC Alternative Middle School and its partnerships with the Mational Time to Read Program of Time Warner and corporate partner Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance company. Mr. Mireles played a key role in having UCC becoming selected as "1992 Affiliate of the Year" as one of over 158 affiliates of the National Council of La Raza.

Mr. Mireles has been a National Trainer for the Time Warner’s Time to Read Program,the nation’s largest corporate based literacy program. For the past 17 years, he has trained over 1,500 corporate and volunteer tutors in Time to Read sites in New York, Chicago, Houston, Kansas City, Columbus and Minneapolis.

Oscar Mireles is a published poet and editor. Mireles's poetry has been published in over 50 different publications, including Revista Chicano Riquena (now Americas Review), Viatztlan, Colorlines, Nuestra Cosa, Milwaukee Journal and Catholic Herald. Mireles's first chapbook of twenty poems was published in 1985 and was titled Second Generation (Focus Communications 1985). Mr. Mireles was Publisher and Editor of I didn't know there were Latinos in Wisconsin: 20 Latino poets (Focus Communications 1989). Reviewer Tim Forkes writes " the compilation stands as not only as a picture of Wisconsin's Hispanic community... but also the latest of Mireles' many contributions to society as a whole... he was the fire in the oven" Mr. Mireles organized the second anthology I didn't know there were Latinos in Wisconsin: 30 Latino Writers (Focus Communications 1999) and served as the Editor.

Mr. Mireles has received much recognition for his efforts in the education and community service. He was selected as one of the “10 Who Make A Difference” by the Wisconsin State Journal in 2001. He was also profiled in the Wisconsin State Journal’s“Know your Madisonians” column in 1999. He received a leadership award from the Verona Area Evenstart Literacy Program in 1997. He was listed as one of the "89 Most Interesting People in 1989" by Milwaukee Magazine. He was selected "State of Wisconsin Hispanic Man of the Year" in 1988 by the United Migrant Opportunity Service (UMOS) . He received the 1988 Future Milwaukee Alumni Community Service Award for outstanding leadership. He was selected "Board Member of the Year" in 1986 by the Milwaukee Chapter of Jobs with Peace. In 1980, he was selected "Man of the Year: by the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC)

Mr. Mireles currently serves on the Grants Review Board of the Foundation for Madison Public Schools. He is President of Africasong Productions which coordinates the longest running state-sponsored Martin Luther King Jr. celebration. He is a member of the Education Committee for the new Overture Center.

Mr. Mireles was President of the Middleton Youth Wrestling Club, helping his son win a WIAA State Wrestling Championship and earn a spot on the Wisconsin National Freestyle Wrestling Team. He served as the PTO President for two years at Gompers Elementary. He was the United Way Agency Representative on the United Way of Dane County Campaign Cabinet.

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