Robert Vega always had a passion for music, learning, and teaching, so it isn’t surprising that he entered the field of music education. After receiving an honorable discharge from the Navy, he studied music education at Berklee College of Music, where he learned the skills necessary to teach music in the 21st century.
Vega began as a general music teacher in Dorchester, Massachusetts. In 2008, he took the opportunity to return to his hometown of Chicago, Illinois, teaching at Rauner College Prep, a school that serves more than 600 students from the city’s south and west side. He has built and developed a music program that has been a boost for the school and the community.
In 2012, Vega was named People magazine’s Teacher of the Year for his commitment to teaching more than 350 students each day—and still achieving results. He sees these words, posted on his desk, every time he starts the day: “I teach with love, I teach with joy. I remember it is why I am here.”