About El Valor

El Valor is a non-profit community-based organization founded in 1973 that strives for a community in which all members, including individuals with special needs, can live, learn and work.

El Valor, meaning “courage”, from its roots in the Hispanic community, has grown into a multicultural, multipurpose organization that reaches thousands of families throughout the Chicagoland area.



El Valor’s mission is to support and challenge urban families to achieve excellence and participate fully in community life. Our programs exist to enrich and empower people with disabilities, the disenfranchised and the underserved.




El Valor seeks to be the best in the nation in early childhood and youth enrichment, the premier organization developing Hispanic leadership, and an international model for inclusion of people with disabilities.

Our History

El Valor was founded in 1973 by the late Guadalupe A. Reyes, a visionary leader and mother who dreamed of a community in which all members-including her son with special needs-could live, learn and work. From its roots in the Hispanic community, El Valor has grown into a nationally recognized multicultural, multipurpose organization with a mission that reaches millions through its International Public Awareness Campaign.


El Valor has four Children & Family Centers, a Technology Center, a Vocational Development Center and six Community Residence Homes for adults with disabilities. Programs work with families throughout the Chicago metropolitan area. El Valor has a budget of over $22 million. Over 300 staff members and hundreds of volunteers help provide services to children, people with disabilities and their families.