Special Announcement Area

Individualized Care. Supportive Environment.

Through transformative service, HH focuses on a holistic approach to care that considers how mental health impacts ones wellbeing, motivation, physical health and outlook on life. In our comprehensive Adult Programs, we create a safe space for clients to learn and develop skills for success within the community and their home.

The Helping Hand Way

Our Adult Programs provide enriched activities for individuals with I/DD within the community. Learning experiences are based around art, life skills, music, fitness, recreation, volunteerism, health, and wellness. HH team members use clients input to develop groups/classes that are focused on individual needs and interests.

Aging client with colorful necklace smiling
Woman in mask smiling a male client
Woman smiling in front of colorful background
Woman in mask helping a male client with a task

Meet Our Adult Programs Leadership

Headshot of Marcela Marquez-Sanders smiling

I am most proud of the connections I have made with our adult clients. They inspire me to work hard for them. My goal is to have a strong, cohesive team skilled at meeting their needs in every way I can.”

Director of Community Programs
Joined HH in 2007 | Years of Experience 14

Marcela supports both the Associate Director of the Day Program and the Associate Director of Career Services in her role. She collaborates with different departments and works with her teams to ensure the programs that Helping Hand offers are the highest quality and always client-centered. Marcela completed her bachelor’s degree in Psychology at UIC and her Master’s degree in Human Services Management at National Louis University. Marcela started at HH as a direct support professional (DSP) in the day program, which helped her understand the role of a DSP and given her an understanding of the overall day program.
Headshot of Lenette Davis smiling

Interacting with our clients – regardless of who you are – changes you in unexpected ways. Even a brief interaction leaves a mark on your heart. Our clients and their families are so inspiring. It’s the reason I’ve been with HH for 30 plus years.”

Director of Residential Program
Joined HH in 2005 | Years of Experience 37

Lenette directly supervises the Residential Manager team and ensures the day-to-day processes of HH’s residential program are up to speed. This includes ensuring the CILA’s are staffed adequately and supplies are stocked for the houses and nursing department. Lenette collaborates with all departments regarding the CILA services – this includes transportation, nursing, Community Day Programs, Behavior Services, and more.

Lenette began her career in the accounting field and later changed to working in the medical field. She began working and connecting with the adults in the day program and was later promoted to a team leader. She later transitioned to the residential department where she currently is the Director.

Headshot showing a smiling woman with shoulder length brown hair

I make sure our adult clients receive the best care possible. Adults with I/DD should be given every opportunity possible to achieve their goals. I love seeing all the success and growth each person showcases every day, and I’m thankful and honored to be part of it.”

Director of Service Coordination
Joined HH in 2010 | Years of Experience 14

During Cheryl’s time with Helping Hand, she has worked in different departments such as the Community Day Services program and worked her way through the ranks of the Case Management department. Cheryl currently oversees the Case Management, Adult Nursing, Adult Clinical, and Adult Intake departments at Helping Hand. She is also the agency Officer of Inspector General (OIG) liaison and the agency point person for all Department of Human Services (DHS) reviews. Cheryl received her bachelor’s degree in Social Work from Concordia University-Wisconsin with a minor in Social Science and Lay Ministry.
Headshot of Sheila O'Connell smiling

“I started working in this field because I wanted to make a difference in someone’s life. All these years later, that goal has remained the same. I’m proud to be part of an amazing team that continues to find solutions and never stops advocating for each adult we serve. Adults with I/DD should have every opportunity to be happy and live the life they want to live. I feel so honored to be part of their journey and seeing them transform into their best self.”

Associate Director of Day Programming
Joined HH in 2019| Years of Experience 22

Sheila supports staff in the Community Day Programs. She mentors staff so they can grow professionally based on their goals that they have set for themselves. Sheila also works with staff to develop a meaningful curriculum so the clients are offered the best quality programming. She supports the clients by ensuring that their needs are being met through person centered programming. Sheila started out as a DSP. She worked through each position in the adult day program and now currently oversees the Community Day Service program at Helping Hand. She is also the agency Safety Coordinator and CPR/First Aid Instructor for adult services.

Headshot of Ceana Gates smiling
“I enjoy sprinkling kindness everywhere I go. My goal when working directly with the clients is putting more emphasis on their abilities over their disabilities!”

Coordinator, Adult Admission
Joined HH in 2014 | Years of Experience 9

Ceana coordinates intake for both the Community Day Program and Community Living (CILA) in her role. She serves as the first contact for potential new clients and their families seeking adult services at Helping Hand. Ceana graduated from WIU with a Bachelor’s degree in Recreation Therapy, is a certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist, and has her Master’s degree in Child Development specializing in children with special needs from Erikson Institute. Ceana stated as DSP and various supportive roles working with clients, families, and staff.

Associate Director of Vocational
Joined HH in 2022

Manager, Residential Program
Joined HH in 2018 | Years of Experience 14

Manager, Residential Program
Joined HH in 2007 | Years of Experience 15

Manager, Residential Program
Joined HH in 2021 | Years of Experience 18