Energy Force Ambassador Program is the country's first energy-efficiency education program designed for and taught by people with disabilities. Read below to learn more about the Energy Force Ambassadors.
Trinity Services, Inc.
Theresa has lived in the Chicagoland area all of her life. Theresa enjoys crafting, attending church and exercising. She has worked as a retail associate at Walgreens since October, 2010 displaying her strong work ethic and commitment to a job well done. When given the opportunity, she volunteers at a local Nursing home and participates in the Meals on Wheels program by delivering food to residents in the community.
Alex graduated from Orchard Village's Orchard Academy in 2013. He was first employed at Great Lakes Naval Base, where he quickly distinguished himself as a leader. He completed courses to become a crew leader, and worked in that capacity for over a year. Alex recently left the Naval Base and is currently employed at Buffalo Wild Wings, where he performs maintenance work. In his free time, he is an athlete with Special Olympics and plays on the basketball, softball, and track teams. He has won a number of medals for his athleticism. Alex is also exceptionally friendly and outgoing. He is always willing to help out and lend a hand to those in need. When asked about his future, he dreams of living independently and being able to support himself financially.
Garland is a well-liked and respected individual and advocate of the disability community. Garland has been a consumer with Access Living for more than five years. While going to Access Living to receive services, Garland has been very beneficial in helping other people with disabilities gain greater confidence and self-esteem by serving as a positive role model.
Neumann Family Services
Anthony is a lifelong Chicago resident who has been participating in programs at Neumann Family Services for over 15 years. While at Neumann, Anthony has been a great role model to his peers through his strong work history and high level of independence. Additionally, Anthony always maintains a positive and helpful attitude. He previously worked at Starbucks as a barista for 8 years and more recently began working at Jewel. Anthony has received compliments on his strong work ethic and commitment to doing his job well.
Ray Graham Association
Hello, my name is Christopher. I graduated from Downers Grove South High School and attended the school's Transition Program. I am currently an ELSA student at Elmhurst College. Some of my interests are collecting police and fireman patches, collect small model cars and hats. I like going to car shows and going to the movies. Some of my internships that I have had are working with Grounds maintenance and working with Mica Matney manage conferences and guest services. My last job that I had was working for Chartwells, a food provider that serves the campus of Elmhurst College. My job that I did for Chartwells is fill up the drink coolers and restock the straws, coffee cups, soft drink cups, napkins, snacks and cash register. I also volunteer for Relay for life as fundraiser and participant, PAWS, K9 care walk and best buddies program.
Special Olympics Chicago
Maureen is a proud lifelong Chicagoan. She is a former Special Olympics Chicago athlete, now member of our Associate Board. Maureen attended Near North Montessori, St. James and St. Mary of Providence, and currently works as a manager on the DePaul Women's Basketball Program. Maureen was selected for the ComEd program because she is very accomplished, well spoken, follows direction and enjoys the company of others!
Jessica is a native of Evanston, IL. She graduated from Challenger Day School in Niles, IL in 2007. In 2015, Jessica joined the Clearbrook family and currently attends the CHOICE – Day Program in Park Ridge. Jessica is talented and a hard worker. She was immediately selected amongst her peers to work in various areas on and off site jobs such as Skokie Library, American Cancer Society, and Wilmette Pet Center. Jessica also volunteers with La Casa, Northwest Compass, Wagner Farm, and Feed My Starving Children on a weekly basis. Jessica is an active reader. She appreciates fictional books, mystery and romance. Some of her favorite book collections include Harry Potter and Nancy Drew. On her free time, Jessica enjoys going to the movies to watch action and Sci-Fi movies such as Avengers with her friends from CHOICE. Jessica has a passion for learning. She continues to take courses at Oakton Community college in Des Plaines, IL to further her education. Jessica dream is to start a non-profit cancer organization to help family and friends help cope with loved ones who are dealing with the disease. Jessica's other passion is animals. She hopes that her non-profit organization will also help animals diagnosed with cancer someday.
Deanna is a lifelong Chicagoland resident, who currently resides in her own apartment in the southwest suburbs. Deanna has had various jobs in the community, and she currently works in a housekeeping position. In her spare time, Deanna enjoys working out and listening to music. She is also a strong self advocate, and a member of the Envision for Freedom self advocacy group. Deanna is very creative, outspoken and feels she can be an inspiration to other persons facing challenges and adversity.
Jessica has an endless array of skills that have made her an impeccable role model for her peers through the years. A Texan at birth, Jessica's journey to Chicago began in the mid 90's as she was a graduate of Saint Gregory High School in 1999. Post graduation Jessica focused on exploring her talents through a position as an usher at Wrigley Field as well as an activity assistant at a retirement community.
Bill is a graduate of Arkansas State University with a Bachelors of Arts in Social Work and has a passion for the environment. Before obtaining his degree, Bill held several manufacturing positions. However, after Bill acquired his brain injury he knew he had to switch gears. It was then that Bill realized he wanted to help other people in the same way that he was helped during his recovery. Bill is an active member at Grace Lutheran Church and is hoping to assist with an up and coming mobile food pantry.
Dunham grew up in the Chicagoland area. He has a Bachelor's degree in Physics from Northeastern Illinois University and previous work experience involving the use of computer software. Through his education, he has prior knowledge on the topics of electricity and energy efficiency. He is a big fan of science, a strong communicator and has a great sense of humor
Park Lawn Services
Andy is a Park Lawn participant. Andy is known for his pleasant disposition, outgoing personality, love of Chicago's sports teams, and his ability to create tasty treats in the kitchen. He enjoys spending his free time with family and friends; shooting pool, singing Karaoke, attending concerts, and playing bags. If you call Park Lawn's Vocational Services, you may have the pleasure of being greeted by Andy, who works as an office assistant at the reception desk.
Special Olympics Illinois
Ryan graduated from Krejci Academy, a private special education school in Naperville, in 2013. Ryan has been a Special Olympics Illinois athlete for 13 years as well as a Global Messenger for the last 5 years. He goes out into the community and talks to groups and organizations about the mission and vision of the Special Olympics organization. Ryan is in his 6th year at the local public swimming pool and has had some office experience as well. His personal interests include surfing the Internet, listening to music, reading news and factual books, hanging out with friends and watching some of his favorite Chicago sports teams including the White Sox, Blackhawks and the Bears. Ryan is very knowledgeable and passionate for whatever he may be involved in whether that is at work or on the sports field.
Donna is proud to join the Energy Force Ambassador team and is excited to use her high level of positive energy to spread the word about energy efficiency in the community! Donna has lived in Chicago with the support of Anixter Center's Residential Services and day programs for the last 21 years. At the agency, Donna keeps herself busy working as an elevator operator and a peer escort. She is also employed in Anixter Center's Industrial Services (Packaging) doing piece work. Known for her great smile, Donna can often be found participating in her favorite activities such as dancing, creating art, going to the movies, shopping, bowling and socializing with her many friends. Her favorite color is red, her favorite food is sausage and cheese pizza, and she is a huge fan of "Family Feud."
Donna places high value on spending time with and helping others, stating "I love being around and helping other people, that's how I want to live!"
Shore Community Services
Kevin is a graduate of Maine East High School and also attended a non-degree Liberal Arts program at Oakton Community college for 4 years. Kevin's work history includes Warehouse Fulfillment at Opportunity Medical, where he also served as a member of the Safety Committee, Front Desk Reception at Oakton Community College, and Packaging and Assembly work at Shore Koenig Training Center. Kevin practices energy saving solutions at home such as using energy efficient light bulbs, keeping lights on a timer, timing the thermostat, and recycling.
Brian is a lifelong resident of Tinley Park who graduated with honors with a BA in geography in 2014. Through his academic course work, volunteer experience and participation in environmental clubs, Brian has knowledge of environmental issues and is highly interested in conservation. Also, Brian enjoys attending sports game and follows Chicago professional sports teams with a strong passion. Brian enjoys traveling with his family and spending time with his two dogs.
Cristian is a graduate of Gage Park High School and has been with El Valor since 2010. One of the first big trips Cristian signed up for was the annual weeklong trip to Camp Confidence in Brainard, Minnesota in August 2011. He went camping with a group of friends and Coach Cruz in which he was able to truly experience wilderness activities.
GiGi's Playhouse Down Syndrome Awareness Center
Kathryn graduated from Waubonise Valley High School in 2010 with an academic diploma and just completed a 2 year certification program at Technical Center of DuPage in Data Entry. She continues to take academic classes in the Naperville, IL District 204 Transition program.
Kathryn is currently taking classes at College Of DuPage and is a board member at GiGi's Playhouse, a center that serves families with children who have Down syndrome. She has also participated in Special Olympics for several years and holds multiple gold, silver and bronze medals.
Easter Seals Chicago
Maurice has beaten the odds. A young man living with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) has achieved his college degree and a job. For many with autism spectrum disorder, such achievements are beyond reach. Maurice, however, exhibits milder effects of the complex neurological disorder. Despite that advantage, Maurice's future was uncertain for most of his childhood. Before his first birthday, his parents, Jennifer and Willie, noticed a change.
Michele has been with Orchard Village since 1998 and lives in her own apartment in Skokie. She recently procured a job on her own at Panera Bread Company in Highland Park where she is well known by customers there who frequently stop and chat with her during their visits. Michele has also been an Ambassador for Special Olympics and has participated in their athletic events.
El Valor Corporation
Maria completed her education at Ray Graham training center. Since 2007, she joined in El Valor’s Day Program. She stated that she is good at cooking and preparing food in El Valor’s cooking class. Right now, El Valor’s day program is teaching Maria work on her daily math skills such as counting on various money skills, social skills, and tutoring her peer clients in the day program. Maria is an ideal candidate for the Com Ed Energy Program because she believes it will be a great experience for her to demonstrate her leadership skills as well as to become more independent as she will be able to network with other people who share the same interests as her.
Northwestern Illinois Center for Independent Living (NICIL)
Xavier is a lifelong resident of Sterling Illinois, located in northwestern Illinois. Xavier has been faced with many challenges in his life but has overcome many of those challenges because of his strong work ethic. Xavier began volunteering for Goodwill Industries his junior year in high school in October 2012 and was hired on in February 2013 as a Donations Associate where he continues to work part-time. Xavier loves his job and enjoys providing a high level of customer service.
Xavier began attending Sauk Valley Community College in fall 2014. He continues to attend college part-time, working towards an Associate’s degree. Xavier enjoys school and has become very proficient at writing papers. Xavier also volunteers at NICIL once a week answering phones and greeting visitors as they arrive. Xavier is a member of the Ambassadors Club which is funded by the Bi-County Cooperative Foundation. The Ambassadors Club is a group of young adults with disabilities that meet socially to work together as a team to give back to their community. Xavier is also active in Special Olympics and has had the privilege of attending State competition several times. Xavier has a positive attitude and a million-dollar smile! It is this attitude and tremendous work ethic that will help him accomplish all his hopes and dreams. In the future, Xavier plans to live independently with the support of his family and NICIL services.