Staff Highlight: Aurelia Gordillo

Aurelia is our Community Health Education Specialist part of the Community Health program at the house. She’s one of our Mental Health First Aid instructor’s and teaches her participants how to identify, understand, and respond to signs of mental illnesses and substance use disorders.


Stateville: There’s More Behind The Bars

Inmate #081486. To the penal system, inmates are too often just numbers in a list. At Association House, we know them as humans who have stories, families, and a life outside the prison’s walls. Following a recent visit to Stateville to offer re-entry resources to inmates approaching release our Visions Substance Use Program Supervisor received a three-page letter from an inmate.


Staff Highlight: Michael Barnes

Michael is one of our new staff members part of the Workforce program at the house. He returned to Association House as our new Career Navigator after having graduated from our financial careers training program six years ago. He decided to come back because, after five and a half years, he believed it was time to pass on his banking knowledge. 


Staff Highlight: Alicia Marrero

Alicia is a talented Bilingual therapist who earned her Master’s in Counseling Psychology with a concentration in Latinx Mental Health from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. Alicia practices therapy to empower people to create and mold their sanctuary space and tell their stories. To meet the rest of the therapy team, visit our Counseling page.

Latina therapist poses for smiling headshot

Joseph Brings Carnival Cheer to his Peers

Joseph began services with Association House in 2018. At the time, he was living in a nursing home due to mental illness. His ultimate goal was to gain the skills needed to live independently in an apartment of his own. After two years spent at Dulcinea, one of Association House’s supervised housing locations, Joseph achieved his goal. He continues to receive services through multiple programs and is a shining example to others. His goal now: to spread more joy and celebrate his new independence.

Joseph, in his custom carnival worker shirt, poses with staff member Maggie.

Staff Highlight: Jovan Ocasio

In honor of National Direct Support Professional (DSP) recognition week, Association House highlights Jovan Ocasio, one of our outstanding DSPs. Jovan was drawn to Association House when his summer job in 1994 with the mayor’s office of Workforce Development sent him to the Association House summer camp. When the camp ended, he decided to stay on as a volunteer for the Afterschool program.


$5,000 Sadauskas Scholarship Helps College-Bound Students

Pursuing a college degree can be very expensive for students. Association House High School created the Harriet Sadauskas Educational Scholarship to assist students with their tuition and books. The $5,000 scholarship was awarded to Ashley Roman and Alejandra Ramirez, making these inspiring graduates the inaugural recipients of the scholarship.

Ashley is a Youth Scholars, Skills, Service Program (YS3) graduate who never lets anything stop her. “Ashley takes her schooling seriously and never hesitates to take on challenges that support her academic growth,” praised YS3 Program Clinician, Noura Ebrahim.