Intern FB Event postWEST CHICAGO – State Senator Karina Villa is hosting a Youth College and Career Fair for local students making plans for after high school graduation.

“Deciding what’s next after high school can be an overwhelming decision for many students,” said Villa (D-West Chicago). “With many options available—from going to college, to attending trade school, or immediately joining the work force—it can be hard to know what’s right for them.”

The College and Career Fair is open to students as young as middle schoolers who are interested in learning more about opportunities and career paths available to them after high school. Representatives from colleges, universities and small businesses, as well as entrepreneurs from across the state will be in attendance to share information and opportunities with attendees. Community leaders will also be present to speak and share their own career paths as well as any advice they have for the students.

The fair will be held at the Batavia Public Library, 10 S. Batavia Ave., on July 30 from noon to 3 p.m. Snacks and drinks will be provided.

“Through this College and Career Fair, our hope is that students will have the opportunity to learn about all the options available to them and make an educated decision when the time comes,” Villa said. “They deserve every chance to forge their own way and follow their dreams. We want to help them do that.”

College or career oriented organizations interested in participating are invited to fill out an online form. Students wishing to attend can reach out to Villa’s office at 630-326-9319 or via This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Category: Press Releases

032222cm0623 rWEST CHICAGO – State Senators Karina Villa and Laura Fine held a Senate Behavioral and Mental Health Subject Matter Hearing Thursday to discuss the psychiatric needs of detained youth across Illinois.

“There are hundreds of children across Illinois waiting to receive the care they need and deserve,” said Villa (D-West Chicago). “We must prioritize the needs of these children and ensure they have access to the appropriate care.”

The hearing was held at the request of Villa’s Mental Health Advisory Committee, a group made up of mental health professionals in DuPage, Kane and Kendall counties who work together to advocate for mental health resources and care in the community.

The hearing focused on the drastic shortage of residential placements for youth across Illinois in need of psychiatric services. With more than 250 children across Illinois awaiting placement, these children are left at home or in hospitals with no access to adequate facilities with the proper care necessary to serve them. Children who have been through the justice system also experience additional barriers to receiving specialized care.

Family Service Association of Greater Elgin, Kane County Juvenile Justice Center, Peoria Juvenile Detention Center, and Children’s Home Association of Illinois spoke at the hearing to present their thoughts. They work with youth who have experienced significant trauma and present acute psychiatric needs, and have been directly impacted by the lack of inpatient psychiatric placement for youth who need additional services.

“Today’s hearing shined a light on where we need to focus our efforts to improve the delivery of mental healthcare for youth in crisis across Illinois,” said Fine (D-Glenview). “Our committees are working diligently to ensure our children and loved ones have access to vital mental health resources and treatments for successful outcomes.”

Villa and Fine look forward to continuing the discussion and seeking answers for children across Illinois in need of care.

Category: Press Releases

021022CT00300WEST CHICAGO – A staunch advocate for reproductive health and autonomy, State Senator Karina Villa (D-West Chicago) released the following statement in response to the Supreme Court decision to overturn the landmark Roe v. Wade decision:

“Today’s decision is a violation of human rights and autonomy across our nation. People of all ages and walks of life deserve the right to make decisions about their reproductive health, but today that right has been taken away from many Americans.

“Here in Illinois, we have enshrined that right in law, and I am proud to live in a state where we will continue to trust and empower people as they make decisions about their bodies and reproductive health.”

Category: Press Releases

Villa SB 3720WEST CHICAGO – A new law by State Senator Karina Villa creates a pilot program meant to address a disproportionate level of representation of minority families in the Department of Children and Family Services child removal process.

“We have a responsibility to identify and address bias in all our institutions,” said Villa (D-Chicago). “By allowing case workers to approach these situations unburdened by inadvertent bias or preemptive conclusions, we can rest assured that children across the state are being kept safe by a fair and just system.”

Previously Senate Bill 3720, the law requires DCFS to establish a three-year pilot program to promote unbiased decision making in the child removal process. Child protection specialists will be responsible for removing demographic information including, but not limited to, the child’s name, race or ethnicity, or socioeconomic status before a decision is made.

The Bias-free Case Review Team created under the pilot program is responsible for reviewing investigations and ensure that all decisions are rooted in maintaining a child’s safety and reducing risk factors. The effectiveness of the program will be monitored through annual evaluations submitted to the General Assembly by DCFS.

“When children are removed from their families, it’s a last-resort solution,” Villa said. “This law will help ensure those kinds of decisions are made objectively—based solely on what is best for the kids.”

Signed Friday, the law goes into immediate effect.

Category: Press Releases

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