Kimberly is a disability/legislative advocate, grassroots community leader, who believes in leadership through systems change, creating, pursuing goals, and achieving a vision of shared values about people living with disabilities. Through her work as President, Board of Directors of Chicagoland Autism Connection (CAC), The Arc of Illinois (Ligas Family Advocate and later as Board Treasurer), The Office of Diverse Learner Supports & Services (ODLSS) Parent Engagement Specialist of Chicago Public Schools, Kimberly’s work, and passion to support families living with disabilities with a specific focus on marginalized communities has supported hundreds across Illinois.
Professionally, Kimberly works as a Regional Coordinator (Cook County), Community Residential Services Authority (CRSA). This position provides technical assistance to families, service providers, educators, and other professionals to help plan and implement appropriate, effective services for children with severe emotional disturbances and/or behavior disorders (SED/BD), in Illinois.
She received her formal education in Business Marketing from Indiana Wesleyan University and has received various certificates awards and acknowledgements as a disability Advocate including REST respite training (2018) and customized employment through Marc Gold & Associates. Kimberly has also served as a speaker for quite a few community and professional organizations sharing tips on parent/caregiver advocacy, service coordination, financial wellness, the benefits of employment (customized), Direct Support Person training and navigating resources within the State of Illinois.
Currently, Kimberly serves on several boards and committees including her recent appointment as Board President of The Arc of Illinois; former Arc of Illinois board Treasurer (2021-2023); the State of Illinois Development Disability Advisory Council; Immediate Past-President of Chicagoland Autism Connection (CAC); Founder of CAC’s A-Team & Trailblazers-Self-Advocate groups and Past Board Member of the Community Residential and Services Authority for the State of Illinois. She also serves as part of the Illinois Criminal Justice Task Force; Q Source Kidney Advisory Board and is a Faculty Advisor for Illinois Partners and Policy Making (2018-2023), Caring Across Generations Fellow (2023), and National Kidney Advocacy Committee (2023). She is a certified trainer with NAMI as a Mental Health First Responder (2017) and the Train the Trainer National Disability Institute Financial Wellness Training for families living with disabilities (2021). Most notably, Kimberly created and implemented the Parent Engagement Training Portal for the Chicago Public School’s Office of Diverse Learners Supports and Services.
Lastly, Kimberly is the devoted mother of an adult son living with Autism, speech and cognitive delay and gained her lived experience through their journey navigating support services in Chicago and surrounding suburbs of Illinois. Kimberly believes grassroots advocacy is the heart and soul of advocacy and her mission to support families with children and adults living with disabilities began when she realized that state and federal funding, resources, supports and services were limited or non-existent in her community and other underserved/ marginalized communities.
“Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we have been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.”
– Barack Obama