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- Enriching Youth
- Supporting People with Disabilities
- Strengthening Families
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- About Us
Rey B. Gonzalez - Board Chairman
Rey B. Gonzalez has given El Valor the extraordinary leadership needed to accomplish extraordinary goals. He has affected transformations in the lives of people - children, adults, families, volunteers and staff. Rey's vision is of an inclusive society in which all people are respected and challenged for the common good.
Rey has connected El Valor to leaders in corporations, government, universities, media and the community. Because of Rey's talent in building trusting relationships, El Valor is connected to and respected by people in all sectors.
Rey has been a board member for the last 25 years. He was present when El Valor was a very small organization housed in a building in desperate need of repair. Rey did not see the negatives but the beauty of El Valor, which worked with adults with disabilities. Through Rey's leadership, El Valor flourished and became the model of bilingual/bicultural rehabilitation in the state of Illinois and started the first computer programming training center for people with disabilities. El Valor built the first intermediate care facility in the state; initiated the Tocar El Futuro/Touch the Future early childhood education model; and developed a national public awareness campaign on the importance of early childhood development, Parents As First Teachers. Under Rey's leadership, two Children & Family Centers have been built, and a third center, the Carlos H. Cantu Children & Family Center, will break ground this spring.
Rey developed one of the integral parts of Tocar El Futuro, the university component. He initiated the university component because, as he stated "One of the primary reasons more Hispanics are not promoted within corporations, public education systems, and government is due to the lack of credentials. El Valor, in partnership with universities and colleges, can bridge the need our community has to further its education and the need society has for workers to be better trained and educated in order to provide leadership in various domains." This simple idea led to over 400 working minorities earning their degrees right in the community at El Valor Children & Family Centers.
Rey is not afraid to challenge others and encourages others to challenge him. He expects the best from the people with whom he works and he gives his best. Rey gives of himself openly and unselfishly. He is invited by universities and colleges around the nation to address college students. In recognition of the impact he has had on young people as a role model and motivator, Governors State University established the Rey B. Gonzalez Scholarship Fund in 1997.
Thanks to Rey's volunteer efforts, thousands of children, adults and families from all walks of life have experienced positive changes in their lives and in their view of the world.