Sharing the power of literacy and building a brighter future for our learners…

Meet Our Team

Juan Pablo Padilla

Executive Director

Juan Pablo Padilla serves as Executive Director of Corazon a Corazon. Ministry and working with people is his passion, and he is eternally thankful for his Pastoral Juvenil origins. Juan Pablo studied Ethnic Studies at Glendale College near Los Angeles and Philosophy at the Universidad Intercontinental in Mexico City. His background is in Civic and Faith Based Community Organizing. Among his hobbies are the fine arts, music, and hiking.


Phone: (708) 377-7760

Gina Perez- Giblin

Assistant Director/ Coordinator of Youth Programs

Gina earned a bachelor’s degree in Computer Information Systems at DeVry Institute of Technology. Gina comes to Corazón from the Diocese of Joliet where she was Administrative Assistant to the Office of Divine Worship. Prior to working at the Diocese of Joliet, Gina worked for Medicare and is a certified Medical Interpreter. Her experience includes a mission trip to Bolivia. At Corazón she is determined to continue her work of enabling others. 

Phone: (708) 377-7761

Sr. Miriam Patrick Cummings, SSND

Coordinator of Mission Integration

A longtime educator, Sister Miriam Patrick has an MA from DePaul University and years of experience as teacher and principal.  She has served as Chair of Board of Trustees in several institutions and most recently served as Associate Director of the Office of Vicar for Priests in the Archdiocese of Chicago.

Phone: (708) 377-7764

Margarita Silva

 Director of ESL Programs

Margarita Silva is Corazón a Corazón’s English as a Second Language Coordinator.  Margarita is a graduate of Chicago State University and has received a BA in Spanish.  A native of Chicago’s Southside, Margarita is driven to help serve the surrounding communities through education.

Phone: (708) 377-7762

Board of Trustees

Sister Mary Fitzgerald, SSND (Council Liaison)

Martha J. Welter (Chair)

Victoria Brennan 

Monica Carey

Sister Rose Cecile Espinos 

James Fitzmaurice

Michael E. O’Neill

Pablo Padilla (Executive Director)

Cary Rositas-Sheftel

Domingo Vargas 

Sister Dorothy Young, SSND 

Rita Zambon


Our History

The School Sisters of Notre Dame have a long history as educators with an interest in immigrants. The SSND’s came to the United States in 1847 at the request of Bishops to serve the children of German immigrants and soon taught all who came to them looking for quality faith-based education. Notre Dame Sisters served many parishes in the Archdiocese of Chicago. Several of them, along with the Academy of Our Lady (Longwood) served students of every race for over one hundred years in the south part of the Archdiocese. In the late 90s when AOL closed and the SSNDs no longer staffed those parish schools, the Sisters sought a way to maintain a presence and service in this part of the Chicagoland area and the Archdiocese of Chicago. Corazon a Corazon, “heart to heart” came to life in response to perceived needs in the area. Much joy, amid struggle, brought us to where we are today: a sponsored ministry of the School Sisters of Notre Dame providing one on one ESL to adults and After School and summer programs for elementary school students. With dedicated staff and volunteers, we continue to share SSND values and vision as we move into a future full of hope.