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What We Do

Lifestyles Academy is a post-secondary education and training center tailored to young adults with developmental disabilities who have completed their high school or transition programs. Through skills training, employment experiences, and social opportunities, Lifestyles Academy helps young adults build the functional skills and self-confidence they need to transition to adulthood.

We focus not only on finding the first job, but thriving in all areas of life. Services include:  

  • Advocacy 
    • Skills training on basic financial planning, balancing income and Social Security benefits, person-centered planning, advocating for ADA accommodations, stress management, independent living, relationship and interpersonal safety, and small business training. 
    • Assessments and interest inventories to help participants discover their interests and set goals 
    • Work experiences through collaborations with local small businesses, community colleges/universities, and Chambers of Commerce
    Vocational training
    • Classroom instruction on assessing strengths and weaknesses, interviewing, and resume building
    • Vocational learning labs for practicing interviews and simulating work environments 
    • On-site skills training groups in potential career areas including horticulture, maintenance, and other skills training
  • Intellectual and social development
    • Independent living skills training
    • Evening and weekend activities with their peers 
  • Physical health and well-being
    • Group exercise in a state-of-the-art gym
  • Civic responsibility and awareness 
  • Creativity and self-expression through arts programming
    • Herbs and vegetables that are sold in local farmer's markets
    • A​​​​rts and crafts projects that can be shown in the community

With a participant/mentor ratio of 8:1, we create an intimate, supportive environment and tailor our services to each person's needs and goals. 

We're always looking for young adults to participate in our programs, as well as community members and local businesses to support our cause. If you are interested in Lifestyles Academy, feel free to contact Jennifer Cole-Jensen at (708)429-1260, ext. 3292 or attend one of its open house events! 

As of July 1, 2018, LifeStyles Academy is excited to announce their merge with CTF ILLINOIS.

Current members can donate or pay their tuition through CTF's PayPal link here.

Our Partners