In Val's own words:
"I became Trevor’s advocate when he turned 3 years old. We have learned sign language, battled for additional speech therapy hours, reported child and adult bullies, and declared war against processed food. Being a single parent of an autistic young adult is truly a blessing in disguise."
"I remember the first time my son Trevor required a tooth extraction. He was only five years old, autistic, and there was nothing I could do as a mother to stop the pain. I realized then what I know now about being responsible for our health, environment and security. Being an advocate for a person with a disability has made me an unyielding activist. When Chicago Cares needed volunteers to paint classrooms in low income area schools, I gathered my friends for a Saturday of coloring. When I heard that Poised for Success needed business suits for women re-entering the workforce, I immediately created a clothing drive and fitted over 100 women. And when I was seven years old, and faced with my first racist attack, I made my mind up to not allow society to treat me diferently because of my skin color. I have always had a crystal clear sense of right and wrong, and a strong sense of justice. I have always believed in equality among all races, genders, religions and sexual orientations. I have always been willing to tackle issues that I face on a daily basis, and become a vocal advocate for change."
•Val has the experience to exercise fiscal responsibility. With more than 25 years as an accountant in corporate America, Val can delve into budgets, find waste, and examine the implications of changes to Illinois’ tax structure.
Val graduated from college with degrees in Accounting and Business Administration. After that she worked her way up from Business Operations Associate to positions such as Assistant Controller, Financial Analyst, Accounting Manager, Director of Operations, and now to Accounts Receivable Manager for a local telecommunications company. She's been responsible for budgets, employee 401k accounts, allocation and disbursements, and every corporate financial mechanism in between, totaling in the 10’s of millions of dollars.
•Val offers an independent voice. Val did not accept funding from the Democratic party. Although she believes in much of the party’s platform, Val is free to be the voice of the people, not of the party.
•Val is a single parent of a special needs child. Val has first-hand experience advocating for our most vulnerable citizens and will work tirelessly to make sure their rights are forefront.
Val believes in the power of volunteerism. From staffing soup kitchens in Jamaica as her college dormitory’s president to organizing a clothing drive for “Poised for Success” and helping women re-enter the workforce, Val has committed her life to helping others and being a catalyst for change.
Starting in college working on food projects for hurricane relief, through to her volunteer work with TAP (Tax Assistance Program), the Greater Chicago Food Depository, Glass Slipper Boutiques (providing young women with attire and accessories so that they can attend school functions without being excluded), and more. As the spouse of a (not current) active duty military member, she witnessed first hand and understands the impact that service has on families and communities, and she worked with several organizations during that time to aid our service members and their families. Through all of her work she's come to an understanding of our communities as a whole, whether the collars are white, blue, or freshly pressed to meet regulations.
Val is raising two boys and is active in the Autism Awareness community, as her son Trevor is autistic. She enjoy spending time with her family, running, football and baseball, and going to car shows.