Dr. Ford 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 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. Dr. Ford founded an organization; “iCan Dream Center,” designed to address the recreational, emotional, and post-secondary needs of youth with disabilities along with their families. 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. In 2015, she accepted the role of Assistant Superintendent in the Posen-Robbins School District where she served successfully through 2019.
Additionally, Dr. Ford serves on the Board of Directors for The New Roseland Community Hospital, HeartLife Ministries and The Cradle Foundation- Sayer Center. She was also appointed as President of the Board for the United Way Blue Island/Robbins Neighborhood Network. In March 2018, Dr. Ford was awarded Woman of the Year by Zeta Phi Beta Sorority. In July 2018, she was honored as one of the influential “100 Black Women in Chicago” for her educational contributions. Dr. Ford was recognized by the Professional Women’s Network as a “Community Ignitor” In July 2019. In Winter 2019, she received the Paige Award for her impact within the special needs community. In her spare time Dr. Ford enjoys traveling with her two sons, scuba diving & participating in book clubs.