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Meet our friends at Aspire

Aspire was founded in 1960 and is recognized throughout Illinois as a leader in providing bold, pioneering and uncompromising services to children and adults with developmental disabilities, their families and the Chicagoland community. They are one of the most innovative human service non-profits in the Midwest with an incredibly talented and dedicated team of more than 200 that serves nearly 1,000 kids and adults every year. 

Aspire’s mission is to support the successes of children and adults with developmental disabilities, strengthen their families, and build embracing communities. Their vision is to create a community where people of all abilities live, learn and grow together. 

Learn more about Aspire here

Getting Involved

There are plenty of ways to get involved with Aspire! Whether it’s through volunteering at one of their community homes, funding a scholarship for one of their Career Academy students or attending one of their fundraising events, there are numerous ways to support the kids and adults with disabilites who Aspire serves. 

Aspire’s largest fundraising event of the year is coming up! The 20th Annual Big City Night Gala is returning next month. The event will benefit kids and adults with disabilities as attendees celebrate in style with the lively sounds of the Jazz Age!

WHEN: Saturday, February 24th
                5:00-6:00 VIP Reception
                6:00-7:00 Cocktail Reception
                7:00-9:00 Dinner & Program
                9:00-12:00 Bootlegger’s Ball

WHERE: Palmer House Hilton, 17 E. Monroe Street, Chicago

Get Tickets

Aspire CoffeeWorks

Aspire CoffeeWorks is a dynamic social enterprise between Aspire, Metropolis Coffee Company and Canteen Vending. Founded in 2009, the partnership combines the work of Aspire with the craftsmanship of Metropolis Coffee company, one of the nation’s top artisan, award-winning coffee roasters. 

It’s a unique partnership and perfect example of how adults with disabilities can be productive and successful members of the work force, as they work side-by-side with employees on the Metropolis Coffee Company team. 100% of Aspire CoffeeWorks’ net proceeds directly support Aspire’s services and programs. Thanks to a partnership with Canteen, the nation’s largest vending services company, Aspire CoffeeWorks’ coffee is currently served in over 80 Chicagoland offices. This means that offices across Chicago are providing therapy to children learning to walk, giving language devices to teens with Down Syndrome and helping adults with Autism find long-term employment – all through a simple cup of coffee.

Learn how to serve Aspire CoffeeWorks in your office.

Get Aspire CoffeeWorks

Volunteer Opportunities

Volunteers are one of Aspire’s most valuable assets. They make the difference between possibility and reality for so many of their services, programs and events. Aspire hopes you join in with volunteer opportunities that range from activities with Aspire participants, to helping out around Aspire’s many locations, to being part of special events, to serving on a committee.

Click here to learn more.

Learn how you can encourage, manage and leverage volunteering in your workplace.

Click to schedule a 15-minute call with Stefanie Jenkins or contact her directly at

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More Ways to Give Involved

The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Career Academy is OPEN as of October 2017! The Academy works with job seekers in a fully equipped 10,000 square foot facility to explore job interests, provide hands-on training in simulated work spaces, and place students in rewarding and meaningful jobs. By partnering with companies in the community, Aspire was able to assist corporations with their recruiting efforts and find the perfect fit for both the employee and the employer.

The Academy provides training in six industries: Food ServiceHotel & HospitalityFitness Center AdministrationOffice Management & Information TechnologyRetail, and Warehousing & Distribution.

For those interested in experiencing a tour of the space or learning more about any of the Aspire career-related initiatives, contact the Careers department via email at, telephone at 708.547.3560, or visit online at

Check out some pictures of the Academy below!