New Leadership for a New Era

Today, Stand for Children officially announced our very own Jessica Handy as our new Illinois Executive Director. Jessica brings to this new role a deep well of policy expertise and statewide relationships to lead the organization into a new era.

You’ve surely seen Jessica’s name in your inbox for a long time now. She’s been a fixture at Stand for over 12 years, leading our government affairs department in Springfield. During her time at Stand, she’s helped to enact some of the most impactful education policies of the last decade.

This session, Jessica is excited to lead the team as we advocate for a significant increase to the Evidence-Based Funding Formula, to end the unjust practice of imposing court fines and fees on Illinois youth, and to create a comprehensive statewide literacy plan.

When she’s not at work, Jessica stays busy standing for children in other ways. She is now in her sixth year as a foster mom. As a former teen mom herself, she has a special interest in supporting teen moms in care to become successful parents. Inspired by the literacy advocates she met across Illinois, Jessica also recently earned tutoring credentials to support students with dyslexia.

We look forward to working with you all in the weeks to come as the legislative session culminates, and in the months and years to come as we look to create a brighter future for us all.

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