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iCan Dream Center

17508 Carriageway Unit A/D
Hazel Crest, IL 60429

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MEET OUR TEAM

The iCan Dream Center's staff is a group of passionate individuals dedicated to addressing the needs of all of our students.

Our Founders

Dr. Evisha Ford-Sills, LCSW

Founder & Executive Director

Dr. Ford-Sills has a passion for marginalized youth which began at an early age.  She earned a Masters of Social Work from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and began serving inner-city homeless youth providing therapeutic intervention and linkages to community resources. She worked with various community agencies to build their capacity to support the needs of vulnerable youth (via training, resource development and program evaluation). She was recruited by Chicago Public School (CPS); during her tenure within the Early Childhood Department she came to understand the complex needs of young children and the critical nature of early intervention.

Later she served as a Response to Intervention (RtI) Coach for the CPS Office of Specialized Services. Subsequently, she was appointed Director of Special Education in Bremen High School District. Dr. Ford-Sills completed her doctoral studies at Aurora University in Educational Leadership in 2010. Her research focus is students with disabilities, youth resiliency, and critical race theory.  She supported the development of other professionals in her role as an Assistant Professor and Special Education Leadership Program Coordinator at Concordia University Chicago, in the Graduate College.

Dr. Ford-Sills and her husband (Rob) conceptualized and founded iCan Dream Center after recognizing the complex needs of families who have a child with special needs and the growing number of youth who become involved in the criminal justice system.  iCan Dream Center provides a positive, affirming, and inclusive environment where all youth are encouraged to dream.

Dr. Ford-Sills has three amazing sons. She is a self-proclaimed “adventure junkie.” She meets her need for adventure by scuba-diving, participating on service trips with her church, and traveling with her family. Her favorite quote is “In a world where there is so much to be done…there must be something for me to do” (Dorthea Dix).

Robert Sills

Founder & Director of Daily Operations

Rob graduated from North Park University with a B.A. in Marketing Communications. As a student, he got his first taste of the nonprofit sector by interning at the Illinois Institute of Technology. He went on to pursue a professional football career where he gained insight on the value of using personal influence to benefit others. Robert was named the Most Valuable Player for the Sioux City Bandits and as such became the team spokesperson for community and charity events. Since then, he has gained over 10 years experience as a football coach and worked in several education settings. Rob worked in higher education in Student Life and was instrumental in the development of programs for high attrition university students.  He became interested in the inextricable link between educational expectations and student outcomes and earned a Master of Education Degree.

Prior to founding the iCan Dream Center, Rob served as Dean and Recruiter at an inner-city catholic high school.  Subsequently, he accepted the role of Director of Culture and Climate within the public school system. Rob loves participating in athletic activities, reading books about leadership, and encouraging people in their faith.

Our Team

Brett Kurlander

Brett Kurlander

Transition Program Coordinator

Brett Kurlander has a BA in Film Studies with a minor in European History from Hofstra University. He also holds an MA in Secondary Education from Roosevelt University. He holds endorsements in special education and various secondary social studies disciplines including Sociology, World History & American History. Mr. Kurlander came to the iCan Dream Center after teaching in Chicago Public Schools for over a decade. He gained invaluable experience working with both special and general education students in traditional and accelerated credit recovery programs. He also held a position as an Assistant Dean and Peer Jury Supervisor. This background makes Mr. Kurlander uniquely qualified in his role as the Transition Program Coordinator for the iCan Dream Center.

    Julie Garand

    Julie Garand

    Credit Recovery Teacher

      Prisma Arevalo

      Prisma Arevalo

      Program Assistant | Afterschool Coordinator

        Gentile Woodley

        Gentile Woodley

        Social Worker

          Ericka Ale Argueta Alvarez

          Ericka Ale Argueta Alvarez

          Program Assistant