Have Dreams Happenings – July 2017

 In This Issue:




Someone You Should Know:












interview cropped  Have Dreams Academy Participant at Practice Job Interview at Trustmark walgreens low res








Have Dreams Academy: Workforce Training Across Industries

In the summer of 2014, with a $125,000 grant from The Coleman Foundation, Have Dreams Academy launched its new workforce manufacturing program for individuals with autism at ILOVESWEETS, a commercial bakery around the corner from Have Dreams’ Evanston location. Since then, the Academy has grown tremendously by providing internships in retail and office-based settings in addition to manufacturing. The primary focus of the program is to teach transferrable job skills that apply across industries.

Since its inception, nearly 50 students have graduated from the Have Dreams Academy and 89% of those graduates are employed at businesses such as Hu-Friedy, Walgreens, Northwestern University, and Amazon.

To read about one of our graduates, see the story below about Maddie, who graduated from the Academy in Fall 2016 and now works at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in addition to her job at Jewel.

What Does the Academy Cover?

  • During the 16-week program, interns spend four days a week working at an internship to gain critical on-the-job experience.
  • When not at their internships, students spend time in the Academy training room learning social skills in the workplace, time management, problem solving, how to appropriately ask for help, and developing their resumes.
  • Interns also participate in community job site tours to explore different career paths and practice interviews to develop the confidence needed to secure employment.

For more information about the Academy, see http://havedreams.org/young-adult or contact info@havedreams.org.



Fall Programs are Just around the Corner!

2017 program openings july no logo

Are you planning to enroll in our Fall classes? If so, please let us know! Lining up your Fall schedule now helps everyone at home and at Have Dreams be prepared for the next season before the busy back-to-school rush!

  • To save a spot in one or more of our after-school Social Skills programs in Evanston and/or Park Ridge, contact Andrea Franckowiak at ajohnsen@havedreams.org.
  • To reserve a place in the Life SCILS Adult Day program in Evanston, contact Andrea Franckowiak at ajohnsen@havedreams.org.
  • To sign up for adult Employment programs in Evanston, contact Sara LaMontagne at slamontagne@havedreams.org.



Some of our programs have ongoing enrollment throughout the year, while others have specific registration sessions that follow our program calendar. For more information about all the programs we offer, click here or contact us at info@havedreams.org. Are you already enrolled in our programs? Share this info with your friends!




Not a Golfer? Join Us for Dinner and Fun after the Golf Classic!

Don’t miss out on all the fun just because you’re not a golfer. Please join us for our Golf Classic Dinner on Monday, September 11, 2017 at the picturesque Itasca Country Club. Enjoy raffles, a silent auction, and learn more about Have Dreams and our programs for children, teens, and adults across the autism spectrum. We’ll share stories from our participants, parents, and partners. Dinner will begin around 5:30 pm with prizes and raffle winners announced around 7:00 pm. Bring a friend!

For more information about the Have Dreams Golf Classic and to register for the dinner, please visit http://havedreams.org/golf-classic.

     wine and dine









Photos from last year’s Golf Classic auction 



Advocate Lutheran General Hospital Collaborates on Job Recruitment and Retention

 Maddie LGH photo June 2017 cropped
“We want the best talent for our organization; for associate satisfaction, retention, and excellent organizational outcomes,” says Katie Bata, Vice President of Human Resources for Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge and Illinois Masonic Medical Center in Chicago. Katie is also on the Have Dreams Board of Directors (see story, below), where she introduced the idea of a recruitment and retention strategy with Have Dreams to find more diverse job candidates for the hospitals. Katie explained that some routine hospital jobs have frequent turnover, which makes it difficult to find someone who will be a good fit. “We want to connect people with the right job opportunity,” she says.

Enter Maddie (pictured above), a Fall 2016 graduate of Have Dreams Academy, the Have Dreams workforce training program that helps adults with autism learn transferable job skills and gain work experience. Maddie interned at Walgreens during her time with the Academy, where her supervisors said she was very detail oriented, worked independently, and always had a smile on her face. In May 2017, these skills helped Maddie acquire her job as an Environmental Services Technician at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital.

Maddie’s mom, Valerie, said that Maddie is enjoying her new job at the hospital. “Thanks to Have Dreams for the opportunity and for the ongoing support,” she says. Maddie has received positive feedback from her supervisors about her work and her accuracy. By pairing Maddie’s skills and capabilities with the right job, “We are setting her up to be a success,” says Katie.

For more information about our employment programs, see http://havedreams.org/young-adult. If you are a business looking to collaborate with Have Dreams regarding internship and employment opportunities, practice interviews, and/or job site tours, see http://havedreams.org/businesspartners.

Pictured above:
Maddie at her new job at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital


Katie Bata Connects Autism and Human Resources

 Katie Bata sees her volunteer work on the Have Dreams Board of Directors as an opportunity to connect her two passions: her strong interest in autism and her 20-year career in human resources. Katie is the Vice President of Human Resources for Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge and Illinois Masonic Medical Center in Chicago. These combined passions led Katie to the idea of a recruitment and retention strategy with Have Dreams to find more diverse job candidates for the hospitals (see story, above). Katie says this collaboration is an exciting opportunity to do something with two local organizations she supports.

“I enjoy working with a cause that is near and dear to my heart whose impact makes it very fulfilling,” she says of her volunteer work on the Have Dreams Board of Directors since 2014. “I wish people had a greater understanding of the positive impact of Have Dreams.”

Katie lives in St. Charles with her husband, Todd Heeter, and their three sons. When not working at Advocate and volunteering for Have Dreams, she loves traveling and spending time with her family. She also chairs the Workforce Investment Program for Kane, Kendall, and DeKalb Counties, which helps to allocate state funds to workforce programs in those counties.

“I’m incredibly grateful to serve on such a fantastic board, whose mission I believe in,” says Katie about Have Dreams.

Have Dreams is thankful to Katie for her service on the board, her commitment, and her ideas that create positive change for businesses and for individuals with autism.

Pictured above:
Have Dreams Board Member Katie Bata with her husband Todd Heeter