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About Esperanza


We provide opportunities for children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities to help them reach their fullest potential toward a productive and independent life in the community. Esperanza means hope, expectation, promise, prospect, and confidence.

Our History

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.

Finding a place like Esperanza was absolutely wonderful for me because it made me realize I wasn’t going through this alone.

Esperanza School parent

Executive Leadership

For more than 50 years, Esperanza has built a strong and positive reputation among our families as a trusted and caring service provider. The Esperanza team is uniquely positioned to support our rich and diverse community. Esperanza is an anchor for the people we serve and their families by providing the help and hope that many have been unable to find elsewhere.

Jayne Drew

Chief Executive Officer

Anne Hellmer

Principal, Esperanza School

Mike Jersey

Chief Program Officer,
Adult Programs & Services

Transparency and Accountability

Board of Directors


  • Aaron McKay
    Chair
    Levy Restaurants
  • John Krepps
    Treasurer
    Silver Cross Hospital, Retired
  • Suzanne Ritzler
    Secretary
    Accenture

Directors

  • Kristen Casperson
    Rush University Medical Center
  • Bret Deyo
    Aetena
  • Dana Drummond
    Salesforce
  • Sean Gill
    Jenner & Block
  • Kyle Grisuis
    Midtown Chiropractic and Natural Medicine
  • Lauren Novak
    Corrugated Supplies Company
  • Staci Yesner
    Compass Chicago

Emeritus Board

  • Franco Pacini
    Zagone Studios
  • Michael Roberts, Director
    RM Partners Law