Joanne Bratta completed her undergraduate studies in Nursing at Northwestern, in Chicago, and went on to NIU for her BSN and MS. Her specialty has always been in obstetrics and gynecology and worked to empower women and teen girls. She worked at hospitals in Chicago, the suburban area, taught nursing at the University of St. Francis then became the nurse at Rolling Meadows High School for 22 years and helped develop the Teen Parenting Program for District 214. Lifelong learning is paramount to Joanne, so she took 60 post-graduate hours in counseling and an additional 30 hours of education and became a counselor and middle and secondary educator. She retired from the school system but continued to provide services as the Teen Parenting Coordinator. She was asked to come to Hopeful Beginnings to be an Outreach Coordinator part-time, did so, and within a year, became the Executive Director of the agency. She is the first to say that Hopeful Beginnings is the very best because of the outstanding staff and teamwork. Each client is treated with respect and compassion. She sees firsthand the positive difference our counselors make to improve the lives of the clients we serve!