GiGi University completes an extraordinary year!

Meet the GiGi Prep Graduates! 

We have had many new families enrolled in our GiGi University Program. Families like Nick Sables who is a GiGi Prep student. Nick completed GiGi Prep December 15th in a in person ceremony at GiGi’s Playhouse Hoffman Estates with his classmates. He will then begin GiGi University in January. Nick moved from Springfield this year and has really blossomed in our purposeful programs. Nick has participated in the Fall session of GiGiFIT, he has improved his strength and balance in the program.

He brings his cooking skills to GiGi’s Kitchen Adult every Tuesday and Thursday. GiGi’s Kitchen is designed to emphasize the importance of health and wellness through nutrition education, kitchen safety, food preparation, social activities, and a shared meal/snack. Participant learn about and progress through skills including measurements, food handling, knife skills, ingredient identification, palette expansion, and nutrition. Participants are introduced to various cooking techniques and that increases their self-esteem and self-confidence with their peers!

GiGi’s has been such a Godsend in so many ways to Nick. After Covid, and being stuck at home for months, GiGi’s has been so wonderful for Nick socially as well as educationally. Nick is really enjoying cooking with his peers as well as learning more about fitness.-  Dona Sables


GiGi Prep student David Arias wants to be the face of GiGi’s Playhouse! David has a smile on his face every Wednesday and Friday when he walks in the playhouse. He enjoys working out with other participants in the GiGiFIT portion of the program, cooking healthy meals, building communication skills, money management, and customer service skills. David proudly gave a speech about the GiGi Prep program at this years GiGi’s Playhouse National Leadership Conference to new staff! David completed GiGi Prep this year with friend and participant Nick Sables. David is looking forward to attending GiGi University and working in Hugs and Mugs.

David looks forward to every Wednesday and Friday because he goes to GiGi’s. If he has follow up work to do at home he plans when he can do the work every day. He just loves GiGi’s, and is proud to be a part of the program at GiGi’s. -Suzanne Arias   


The GiGi’s Career Development Programs are progressive learning programs. They are designed to motivate adults with Down syndrome to achieve their highest potential in the world through innovative, educational, goal-development and small group skills instruction, health and wellness, career skills, empowerment, community engagement and exceptional work opportunities. GiGi’s Playhouse offers a three-tiered career development program that prepares adults with Down syndrome to gain meaningful employment/volunteerism in their respective communities. Social focus is to help communities gain a stronger understanding that promotes an environment of inclusion and acceptance for individuals with Down syndrome. To remove potential barriers for our families, participation in these programs is at NO COST to our participants. GiGi’s Career Development Programs have various positive impacts on adults with Down syndrome and on the community at large. Every interaction and friendly conversation reminds the community that stereotypes and discrimination toward people with Down syndrome must change. In doing so, more employers will seriously consider hiring ready and willing candidates with Down syndrome allowing communities, companies and people to grow stronger together. Recommended for adults with Down syndrome age 18 and up. 

We are currently accepting applications for our GiGi University Program! Apply HERE today.

Learn more about GiGi’s Playhouse FREE Purposeful Programs by clicking HERE.









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  1. Dona sables on December 27, 2021 at 8:25 pm

    So thankful for Gigis playhouse, and every person that makes Gigis so special. I wish every community could have a Gigis nearby.

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