At Parenthesis we consider the experience and education of our staff to be one of our greatest assets in meeting family needs. Social workers and child care staff as well as administrative staff represent a broad base of knowledge and expertise in their respective fields.

We recognize that building a strong relationship with a family is critical to that family’s success in meeting their parenting goals.

Social workers design workshop, home visits, and meeting topics around the expressed needs of the parents, while degreed child care staff facilitates classroom activities for young children. Both promote experiences that enrich family relationships.

Staff Bios

Bonnie Andorka

Bonnie Andorka - Director of Development

Bonnie Andorka received her BS in Elementary Education from Western Illinois University. For many years she was a primary school teacher and day care owner. Bonnie came to Parenthesis Family Center in May 2008 with 8 years of experience working in the nonprofit setting as a Community Relations Coordinator. Her area of specialization has been in family support, event planning and development. Under her leadership Parenthesis has increased its fundraising events, developed a new identity system, and enhanced its direct mail solicitations. Bonnie is married with three children.

bandorka@parenthesis-info.org

Gail Shelton - Program Director

Gail Shelton, received her BS in Child Development from Northern Illinois University and MA in Early Childhood from Concordia University. Gail has been working in the Early Childhood field for over 25 years, with the last 18 years being in leadership roles.  Gail also is an adjunct instructor at Triton College in their Early Childhood department. Gail joined Parenthesis in January 2014 and is the Program Supervisor for the Home Visiting and Parenting Resource Program.  Gail resides in Oak Park with her husband and their daughter.

gshelton@parenthesis-info.org

Christine Levy - Family Support Specialist

Christine Levy has 25 years of experience working as a licensed clinical social worker. She received her master's degree in social work from Loyola University with a clinical concentration in treatment. A majority of Chris's experience has been working in community mental health serving clients in the near west suburbs.  For thirteen years, Chris served as the program director of a crisis intervention program that provided intensive services to children and adolescents at risk for psychiatric hospitalization and their families. Many of the clients were referred by DCFS. Priority was also given to those families who were uninsured. As administrator of this program, Chris supervised staff and students in addition to also providing direct services to clients. Chris has also held a Clinical Coordinator/Supervisor position at a west suburban agency that provides Early Intervention Services. She also practiced privately doing psychotherapy with a range of clients for several years before joining Parenthesis in November of 2015 to co-facilitate the Mothering on Our Own Group. Most recently (September 2016), Chris began working as a full-time Family Support Specialist with Parenthesis.

clevy@parenthesis-info.org

Wendy Giardina - Development Associate

Wendy Giardina received her BA in History and Political Science from the University of Michigan and then spent 8 years working as a paralegal in a large national law firm and the law department of Fortune 500 company, experience which fostered her abiding love of details, databases, and both alphabetical and numerical order.  She then spent 10 years in numerous volunteer leadership and fundraising roles in Oak Park school and community organizations.  Her time spent volunteering in her children’s classroom opened her eyes to the deep disparity in early childhood experiences that exist in our community and created a desire to find a way to help all children and families succeed.  In 2014, she received the “Those Who Excel” award from the Illinois State Board of Education for her many contributions to the Oak Park schools.  She joined the Board Directors of Parenthesis in 2011 and chaired the DreamMakers Gala for four years before beginning her current position as Development Associate in 2016.

wgiardina@parenthesis-info.org

Noemy Cespedes - Family Support Specialist

Noemy Cespedes, MSW received her BA from Columbia College Chicago and her MA is Social Work from Dominican University. Noemy has worked with families and individuals in various settings including hospitals, group homes and long term acute care facilities. Noemy has also worked in the past with caregivers and grandparents raising grandchildren. She is a fluent in Spanish speaker and has worked in Hispanic communities to conduct outreach efforts of services for families and adults who are Spanish speaking only. Noemy joined Parenthesis in 2013 as a part time Family Support Specialist with the Parenteen Program. Noemy is married and a mother of two.

ncespedes@parenthesis-info.org

Kimm Pilditch - Family Support Specialist

Kimm Pilditch attended the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana and received a Bachelors in Psychology, and then a Masters in Social Work, becoming a licensed Clinical Social Worker soon after.  She has worked in the Oak Park community for many years and in many different roles.  Her first position was as a caseworker for foster care families, and then as the assistant director of a crisis pregnancy center.  After taking a break from the social work field for 15 years to raise her children, her focus and passion became family support services.  She held a position as a Family Support Social Worker first at Hephzibah Children’s Association, and then joined the Parenthesis team as a Family Support Specialist in November 2014.  Kimm and her husband have lived in Oak Park for 20 years and she is very excited to once again work with families in a supportive, collaborative capacity.  

kpilditch@parenthesis-info.org