Mission and History

The year was 1957 when The Hope School opened its doors in a modest house in Springfield. Hope’s founders, Dr. and Mrs. Charles E. Jordan, had searched the world for a place to educate their daughter who had multiple disabilities. They wanted Judith Ann to have the chance to reach her full potential, but no school in the United States could serve her. So the Jordan’s created a school. They created Hope. The Jordan’s had a vision and took action. The Hope School brought hope to many families who were also searching for community services.

Hope gained the attention of President John F. Kennedy and ignited change in disability policy and services throughout the United States. President Kennedy named Dr. Jordan to the President’s Council on Disabilities and other governmental councils, where Dr. Jordan helped shape a new reality for children and adults living with disabilities. At about the same time, the Special Olympics were founded in Chicago. Illinois was the forefront of change and The Hope School was squarely at its center. The Hope School emerged as a provider of educational and residential services. It became a place where children facing extraordinary cognitive, physical and emotional challenges could learn and thrive.

Today Hope has become more than a school. It is leading the development of new methods to educate, treat and care for children with Autism Spectrum Disorders and other developmental disabilities. Our programs include The Hope Learning Academy Springfield, The Hope Learning Academy Chicago, The Autism Clinic at Hope, Therapy Relief at Hope, The Illinois Crisis Prevention Network, and The Autism Program of Illinois.

Board of Directors

Vision for Hope
Clint Paul, President and CEO
Michael Aiello | Erica Beeman | Erin Bromley | Abigail Buoy | Melinda Clark | Megan DeFrain | Dana Dow | Kate Dunne | Barry Hines | Loren Hughes  | Bridget Ingebrigsten | Micah King 
Kelly Mizeur | Kevin Morphew | Chris Nelson | Ashton Nowlan Sheehan

Hope Clinical Care
Kelly Mizeur, Chair
Mike Aiello |Abby Buoy |Kate Dunne | Barry Hines | Loren Hughes | Micah King |Clint Paul

Hope Learning Academy
Erica Beeman, Chair
Mike Aiello | Erin Bromley | Melinda Clark | Megan DeFrain | Loren Hughes | Bridget Ingebrigstsen | Clint Paul | Ashton Nowlan Sheehan

Hope Foundation
Josh Renken, Chair
Clint Paul | Julie Cellini | Susan Danenberger | Taryn Grant | John Jordan | Kay King | Sarah Phalen | Jim Wilson

Recent News

About us

To provide state of the art services in the most inclusive environment to encourage persons to fulfill their individual potential through evidence based treatment, advocacy and community education.



15 East Hazel Dell Lane
Springfield, IL 62712