Esperanza Community Services began as a school in 1969, created in response to the lack of services available to students whose learning needs were not being met in traditional classrooms. Our founder, Guadalupe Reyes, was driven to help her son Bobby, whose developmental disabilities were caused by spinal meningitis. Guadalupe Reyes made Esperanza School a place where students with developmental disabilities found a solid foundation of education, support and encouragement upon which they could grow.
Families took notice of our high quality educational services, and Esperanza took root in Chicagoland, building a tradition of working closely with those we serve to provide customized supports that meet the needs of each individual. We added more services to meet the needs of families, including those that help people with developmental disabilities throughout their life. A day program was added to help adults continue to build independent living skills, as was a support program that enabled Esperanza to meet the needs of families in their own homes. A 24-hour residential program was established, allowing adults with developmental disabilities to live with their peers in the community.
For over 47 years, Esperanza Community Services has provided support to thousands of students, adult participants and their families. Now, more than ever, Esperanza provides an anchor of support for families across the region. Without our vital programs and services, many of the students and adults that we serve, as well as their families, would have nowhere to turn for support. We developed meaningful relationships that often last well beyond a student’s time with us at Esperanza, and we are honored to have served thousands of children and adults with developmental disabilities and their families.