Silvia Villa, the creator of a nationally recognized model of collaboration for immigrant services, was honored today by the Illinois Legislative Latino Caucus Foundation for more than 25 years of service and commitment.
Villa, who joined Aunt Martha’s Health & Wellness in 2015, previously worked for Illinois’ Department of Human Services (DHS), where she served as the Director of the Office of Latino Affairs.
“I had the opportunity to get to know Silvia when she moved to DHS and created [the model] most of you know as the Illinois Welcoming Centers,” said state Rep. Elizabeth Hernandez.
“Her vision and drive has resulted in thousands of families getting support, communities coming together to solve problems and strengthen the way they work with immigrant families, and to millions of additional dollars coming in to support children, youth and seniors.”
At Aunt Martha’s, Villa leads a team of community health workers, engaging families throughout the organization’s service area to coordinate access to the health care and social services they need to care for themselves and one another.
“This is for the first immigrants to cross the border, the first college students, the first Latina senator and the first Latina state representative,” Villa remarked.
“There are so many firsts [in the room today]. And there are a lot of young people here. I do what I do because of you – for a better future.”
ABOUT THE ILLCF FOUNDATION
The Illinois Legislative Latino Caucus Foundation was formed in 2002 when community and business leaders joined the members of the Illinois Legislative Latino Caucus to create a new public policy and leadership entity to serve the state’s 1.5 million people of Latino heritage.