To celebrate National Direct Support Professionals (DSP) Appreciation Week, Illinois Governor JB Pritzker, Division of Developmental Disabilities Director, Allison Stark, and Assistant Secretary Dulce Quintero from The Department of Human Services (DHS) visited Esperanza on Thursday, September 17.

“We are so excited and humbled to welcome our state’s honorable leader, Governor Pritzker, and celebrate the incredible work of our DSPs,” expressed Joy Decker, Executive Director. “We are thrilled to showcase the hard work of our staff in creating a safe and positive learning environment and space for our participants and students. Our outstanding services are due to our remarkable staff and community who collaborate together and who dedicate themselves each and every day to our programs and those we serve. Our staff are our true heroes!” 

Governor Pritzker and the DHS team toured the Esperanza facility, learning about the programs our non-profit agency provides to over 200 families. During the tour, they had the opportunity to observe the Adult Program activities, particularly an art class, where adult participants were creating string art printing with paint.

In their brief, 30-minute visit, Governor Pritzker also observed our DSPs commitment to providing an enriching learning and growing experience, while prioritizing our participant’s health and safety, as well. Governor Pritzker recognized the challenges we’ve been presented in the current environment and acknowledged our staff’s dedication.  

This special visit to Esperanza marks the two weeks since reopening our building to the Adult Day Program, and it was an energizing event to celebrate the great efforts of our DSPs and staff to reopen safely. 

“Esperanza has been an anchor of stability to the families we serve; our staff and our programs provide a strong foundation for our families, and we’re honored by this recognition. As Governor Pritzker often reminds us, we are stronger together and here, we are Esperanza Strong — working together to support our families and community. It’s a great end to National DSP Week and a motivating way to kickstart the new year ahead!” 

Joy Decker, Executive Director