Esperanza Community Services Employee Reviews

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Very Friendly Staff
ABA paraprofessional (Current Employee) –  Chicago, ILMarch 7, 2014
I just started working here. I really like this job. Very different than other jobs I had. The staff is really friendly and supportive. From the first day, I was trained and helped by everyone including the administration and the classroom I am in. The students are really fun and they make the day go by quickly. I love all the different activities we do in the classroom.

I am really happy I work here. Way better than my old job.
Pros
friendly people, helpful, fun students
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Great place to work
Behavior Analyst (Current Employee) –  Chicago, ILJanuary 26, 2014
Previous reviews seem very shocking to me and not accurate at all. Esperanza is a great place to work!!! It has made so many wonderful changes over the last year. I am proud to say I work there.

All employees are friendly, outgoing and have the students best interest in mind. There are ABA therapists in every classroom and all staff are trained in professional crisis management that help the overall behavioral needs of the students. They also have highly educated teachers, social workers, behavior analysts, crisis team members, speech & language pathologists and paraprofessionals.
Pros
great benefits, professional development, free lunch, staff appreciation days
Cons
older building
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Great job, co-workers vey helpful
Coach Assistant (Former Employee) –  Chicago, ILJuly 28, 2013
As a coach assistant, I taught teachers individually of how to navigate the internet and utilize computer programs (Word and Power point) so they could become more efficient in their day to day activities. I was also in charge of assisting the school driver with the monitoring of the handicapped children in what relates to safety while they were driven to their homes.
Pros
working with special needs children, assist them as needed.
Cons
part-time job, no stable do to grant funding
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Great Place for Professional Development
Executive Assistant (Current Employee) –  Chicago, ILSeptember 21, 2012
I started working at Esperanza right out of college, and I could not have asked for a better first job! The staff are professional, caring, dedicated and most of all fun to work with! The management staff create a supportive environment for employees,which encourages learning and growth. In my time at Esperanza, I have learned so much from the more senior employees, who are more than happy to share their wealth of knowledge and experience.
Pros
knowledeable and dedicated co-workers, weekly staff appreciation events
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Challenging and Fun Workplace with a Bright Future
Accounting Clerk (Current Employee) –  ChicagoSeptember 7, 2012
Esperanza has been the best workplace thus far in my career. My manager has made me feel welcomed from the beginning. The staff is respectful and love the work they do to help our students. During the past year, the organization has been growing rapidly due to new leadership. Since the organization keeps expanding, there are great opportunities for job advancement. Overall, Esperanza is an awesome place to work.
Pros
free food, rapidly growing, opportunities to advance, awesome culture
Cons
the facility needs some upgrades
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Excellent Place to Work!!!!
Case Manager (Former Employee) –  Chicago, ILSeptember 26, 2012
Although Esperanza has a well written mission statement with powerful and inspiring company objectives it is need of a major culture change, i.e. they uphold the status quo (only upper middle class people are in upper managment postions). Promotion from within is only for those with certain ascribed statues. Additionally Esperanza's management team does not reflect the people they serve which are primarily minorities.
Pros
sleeping at work is allowed
Cons
unpredictable and unstable work environment.
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Do Not Work Here!
School (Current Employee) –  Chicago, ILApril 11, 2013
This is the worst organization! This place is so chaotic and dysfunctional it's almost unbelievable! The school is in shambles, literally and figuratively. The building is old, falling apart and in need of major repairs, but instead of investing in the school and making it a better environment for the students, management decides to spend money redecorating their offices.

Management is the worst! They provide absolutely no guidance for staff, and when we ask for help, they just shrug it off and tell us it's our job and our problem to deal with. They provide no support and only care about themselves.

Do not work here! As bad as you may need a job, it's not worth it. Any job is better than working here. Everybody that works here is looking for a new job, that's how terrible this place is.
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Excellent Place to Work.
Financial Administrator (Current Employee) –  ChicagoOctober 2, 2012
Esperanza Community Services is an excellent place to work. The managers and staff are really close knit and look out for each others best interst. It is good place to sharpen yours skill and develop new ones. The manangement is very friendly and approachable. The organization has a good culture for coaching and developing employees skills. The environment is not overly stressful. The organization is really in sync with its mission to provide services to the developmentally disabled individuals. Because of the work Esperanza has done with the DD population it has made it a truly inspiring place to work for.
Pros
awesome fridays, option to work from home, great group of co-workers, coaching, time off, flexible
Cons
doesn't pay as well as a for-profit corporations
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Terrible workplace-no respect for staff
Case Manager (Former Employee) –  Chicago,ILMay 14, 2012
Casemanager for the mentally disabled. I learned that everything is never what it seems. Management is horrible and racist. Co-workers were petty, obnoxious, envious, and terrible at teamwork. Working with co-workers. The clients were at times fun to work with.
Pros
easy access by bus
Cons
management
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Supportive, Fun place to work and very team oriented
Behavior Therapist (Current Employee) –  Chicago, ILFebruary 21, 2014
I started working here approximately 8 months ago (June 2013); coming from another special education school. From day one, the administrative team has been truly supportive of my ideas and goals for my students. It is truly a team approach structure at Esperanza; from administration to teachers, to behavior therapist, social workers, and teacher's assistants.

- Great staff that get along with one another
- ABA & structured teaching approach
- 1 behavior therapist per classroom (small case loads)
- Administrative team which is not only supportive, but will come in and work along side you... because as anyone in the education field knows... you can always use an extra set of hands.
Pros
passionate, energetic staff; supportive administrative team, opportunity to be a part of a strong team connection
Cons
parking (especially in the winter), compensation on the lower end of the scale, high insurance rates
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Terrible Place to Work!
Staff (Former Employee) –  Chicago ILApril 23, 2013
If you are looking for work in a social service agency because you want to help people, this is NOT the place for you! Management has created such a dysfunctional work environment that is impossible for anyone to do what's best for the clients. No matter how bad you need a job, look somewhere else!
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A Great Place To Work!
Educational Leadership Team (Current Employee) –  Chicago, ILFebruary 12, 2014
Esperanza has changed so much recently! The program has been expanding and increasing its staff, which has greatly impacted many of the issues that were commented on in other posts.
The staff at Esperanza are an incredibly strong team that work hard to ensure that the individuals they serve are getting the maximum benefit from their services. The organization has added many new programs recently, and their strong focus on ABA has advanced their program to a new level.
The school at Esperanza has improved so much it looks like a whole new program! The combination of ABA and Structured Teaching have really moved the program to a new level.
Everyone is friendly and genuinely cares about the students as well as other staff.
If you want a fun and supportive work environment where you will be able to grow along with a company, you have found your match! While Esperanza has undergone a number of changes, they are still working to improve their organization to better meet the needs of individuals with disabilities.
Pros
friendly staff, professional development, opportunity to grow
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Look anywhere but here!
Case Manager (Former Employee) –  Chicago, ILJanuary 30, 2014
Please don't waste your time even applying here. It is dysfunctional and poorly run from the top to bottom. Management/administration have no prior experience in their positions.

While at Esperanza, there was a high turnover rate among staff. This was always a problem because there were never enough hands to help with the large amounts of behaviors at the school. Security is another issue I had a problem with...there wasn't enough of it. Many students wander around the building as they please, even leaving the building and coming back with items found on the street to be used as weapons. Staff were being injured(broken hands, sprains, etc.) on almost a weekly basis by students, and administration still made staff use PTO for the necessary doctor appointments.

The old, rickety building is hardly handicap accessible for many of the students with physical impairments.

Overall, it is a very chaotic environment for both the students and
staff and it is difficult to make for a safe learning environment.
Administration can appear aloof and uninterested in change for the
better.

Any job is better than working here.
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Best professional experience I have had thus far!
Behavior Analyst (Current Employee) –  Chicago, ILJuly 25, 2014
My career at Esperanza has been on an upward trend! I started off as an ABA paraprofessional and I loved the Special Education Teacher, Behavior Therapist, and other para in the classroom. We worked so well together! Within three months, I was promoted to a Behavior Therapist in another classroom. The staff in that classroom were very welcoming and we were able to work together in a fun yet professional manner. Six months after becoming a Behavior Therapist, I was promoted to become a Behavior Analyst at the adult day program! Two promotions in less than a year!

Although dealing with difficult behaviors on a daily basis can be challenging, Esperanza offers a great climate with co-workers that help you get through a busy day. I have learned so much in my time here from one of the BCBA's on staff; she has helped to create the professional in ABA that I am today.

I am grateful for the opportunities Esperanza has placed in front of me and I look forward to see what the future holds!
Pros
co-workers, knowledgeable bcba's, internal hire
Cons
short breaks, lack of communication from management to staff, job training
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Great place
Teacher's Aide (Former Employee) –  Chicago ilJanuary 12, 2013
I had a great time working for this school.The hours were great the time off with pay was great and just a different job but i loved it ,
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Fun place to work
Intern (Former Employee) –  Chicago, ILAugust 27, 2012
With 3 BCBA's on staff, it is a great place to learn new ABA procedures or perfect ones you know. The clients and trainers are great.
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I love working with kids with special needs
Basic needs clerk (Current Employee) –  310 East 38th St. Minneapolis MN, 55406August 17, 2011
Esperanza one of the best job I had every work in , its a good place to work!
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Education through Dedication
Special Education Instructor (Current Employee) –  Chicago, IllinoisFebruary 21, 2014
I am a recent hire here (July 2013) at Esperanza School as a special educator for one of the high school classrooms, and I couldn't be happier. After my first interview and walk through the school and meeting some of the students and staff, I knew this was going to be a great place to work. Everyone...and I mean everyone...was very welcoming, supportive and informative all the way from the custodial staff to fellow teachers and paraprofessionals and administration. I immediately felt part of the "family environment" that I could tell was already well established here. Our school is filled with passionate, experienced, supportive, dedicated and fun staff members that are always willing to lend a helping hand. The morale here is amazing compared to my last school. Just in the few months that I have been here, I have already seen more improvements to morale, curriculum, training, infrastructure and hires than I saw at my last school that I was at for fifteen years! I am proud to be a part of this amazing group of people, and I look forward to helping them make even more strides in their promising future.
Pros
dedicated staff, supportive administration, great morale, free lunches
Cons
low pay, short breaks
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Great Place to Work!
ABA paraprofessional (Current Employee) –  Chicago, ILFebruary 12, 2014
Ignore the negative reviews. I did! I started my position as an ABA paraprofessional a few months ago. I am so happy I did. I love my classroom staff. Our special education teacher is nice, knowledgeable and caring. She keeps her students engaged. The behavior therapist has taught me so much about ABA, even though I had some understanding before I came to work here. The other paraprofessionals and I feel like our teacher and behavior therapists include us in decision making and give us a lot of responsibility (but with tons of support). At my old school as a paraprofessional, I was just told to do this or do that. Here I am part of the team.

The administration is new. The principal just came at the end of the last school year and the Curriculum Leader came in the beginning of the year. They are helpful and care about the students. They are always there to listen and they are try to listen to what the staff wants or needs. They get our jobs are hard and they figure out ways to make our jobs easier. If you need materials or office supplies, they get it fast. The Behavior Leader is always helping us to understand the function of the behavior and write correct behavior plans. She is also really positive all the time.

I am happy I ignored the previous negative reviews. Maybe that was the old Esperanza, but the new Esperanza is the best place to work. I love it!
Pros
caring staff, friendly environment, teamwork, free lunch
Cons
older building
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Worst Organization I've ever worked with.
Staff (Former Employee) –  Chicago, ILMarch 11, 2013
I worked with this organization for a while. What I quickly learned is that there is a culture of apathy, disrespect, and gross neglect. I watched the CILA program residents continually come to day program un showered and unkept. The CILAs are dirty, half the staff do not take care of residents, and they eat poorly. The Houses have a repeating issue with bed bugs and the directors are not fixing the problem. In one house, the residents didn't get showered all weekend or many days in a row. Everyone knows about it, yet, nothing ever happens.

The school is a terrible mess. The teachers don't do what they are supposed to. Half the time the are just sitting there while students are not even engaged. Sometimes I felt terrible knowing that these vulnerable kids and adults are stuck in this place and no one realizes how terrible it really is. None of their buildings are wheel chair accessible. Their school and adult program buildings look terrible and their CILAs are extremely dirty.

I continually asked for something to happen and nothing ever did. When I complained, I was the one who as scolded and attacked, as though I was the one who wasn't doing my job. I worked tireless hours and exceeded my expectations. After a while I just gave up, because I couldn't stand it anymore.

This place should be shut down. I would never recommend this place to someone I cared about. I can't even believe this place is allowed to stay open.
Pros
free lunch
Cons
nearly everything else aside from the free lunch (that was usually not good anyways)
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Overall rating

3.5
Based on 25 reviews
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Work/Life Balance
3.6
Compensation/Benefits
3.3
Job Security/Advancement
3.4
Management
3.5
Culture
3.7

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