El Valor is a non-profit community-based organization founded in 1973 by the late Guadalupe A. Reyes. A visionary leader and mother, Mrs. Reyes dreamed of a community in which all members, including her son with special needs, could live, learn and work. She and several others took out a small bank loan and borrowed a church basement in Pilsen where they started the first bilingual, bicultural rehabilitation center in Illinois, and named it El Valor, meaning “courage.” From it’s roots in the Latino community, El Valor has grown into a multicultural, multipurpose organization that reaches thousands of families in the Chicagoland area, and millions throughout the nation.
El Valor has two Children & Family Centers, a Technology Center, a Vocational Rehabilitation Center, and six Community Residence Homes for adults with disabilities. Over 200 staff and hundreds of volunteers help provide services to children, families, and adults with disabilities through programs that support adults with disabilities, promote early child development, enrich youth, strengthen families and encourage leadership.