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Mentoring the Marketplace

About Each Influencer

Having influence is not about elevating one's self, but about lifting others and mentoring them through inspiration.

Local Influential-Chicago introduces residents to local area influencers who are making a difference in the lives around them by following their passion and believing in themselves, despite obstacles that are presented along the way. Behind each and every establishment is someone inspirational who has a unique story to share.

Each story is compelling, sharing a unique path to success. Our featured local influencers provide inspiration and words of wisdom for residents who share their passion for leading a success-driven lifestyle, both personally and professionally.

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​​​ANDRIANA FRANCOIS of CHICAGO | Meet this Volunteer of Simply Destinee and PeaceJam

Andriana Francois, Simply Destinee, Local Influential-Chicago


Understanding First-Hand How a Community Can Make One Feel Alienated and Unwanted, She Started to Volunteer to Help Other Feel Included & Overcome Depression, Bullying & More

NAPERVILLE– Giving all her free time to countless not-for-profit youth organizations, Adriana Francois actively volunteers with the hope she can create a better future for local youth. Her family transferred from Panama to Chicago in 1988 and she understood first-hand how a community can make you feel alienated and unwanted, so she became active with PeaceJam Aurora, Hope Takes Action Aurora, and Simply Destinee.

“I feel these organizations are tackling a lot of local issues, such as, poverty, the attack of middle class, and noncompetitive after-school activities; while also providing tools to grow for families that desperately need it,” Adriana says.

She is passionate about helping the kids at Simply Destinee because they are fervent about tough topics like suicide, bullying and depression and use the art of dance to help kids ages 7 to 18 build confidence and self-esteem. Adriana volunteers nearly 30 hours a week maintaining a focus on education, tutoring kids and connecting them with scholarships for summer camps; meanwhile working to raise funds for building rent, so they can continue to provide free dance opportunities to area youths.

With a never-ending positive spirit, Adriana works tirelessly to create a better life for the youth in her community.



"Simply Destinee is a youth inspired Dance Team that promotes suicide awareness in Memory of Destinee A. Oliva. We believe all kids deserve to feel safe, healthy and ready to learn, we are committed to providing the community based support they need to succeed. Our kids can express themselves through all different styles of dance salsa, bachata, merengue, cumbia, hip hop, swing, waltz and more. We Are Simply Destinee & Music Saved Our Lives!" –Adriana Francois


  • Education connecting parents to the correct education path for their kids. Connect organization to summer camp scholarships

  • Mentoring – engaging with kids of all ages through their diverse challenges

  • Tutoring – offer tutoring to kids in Math and reading

  • Administrative support – help with attendance, snack and lunch programs coordinating

  • Grant writing – Work with board members to apply for grants.

  • Art- Shining the light Street Art project 2016 created 42 paper-mache light bulbs with the kids and 2017 through a grant commission work for 20 art sculptures.


"Ask yourself “What is your passion”? Mine is education! I am always learning from books, people and experiences. Then ask yourself “How much free time do you have”? True free time. Always allowing yourself time for you. Be active, participate and engage. Try many organizations until you find the one that fits your needs. More than ever we need to be active in our communities, towns and neighborhoods" –Adriana Francois



  • September Suicide Awareness month proclamation in Aurora 2017

  • Rhea of Hope – Hebert and Elnora Community Service Award 2017

  • Community Champions of Aurora 2016

  • We Began with 6 Children and Have a Rolling 130 Kids

  • Named One of Glancer Magazine's 15 Most Charitable Women of 2017


Simply Destinee

131 West Ilinois

Aurora, IL 60506

Marty Luna – (331) 643-6001

Liza Oliva – (708) 926-4979


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