Justice Jesse Reyes visited Plainfield Elementary School on January 23, 2020. Justice Reyes toured with bilingual students and families sharing his love of reading and his inspirational story of having a dream with Plainfield’s bilingual students. Justice Reyes also met with 3rd, 4th, and 5th-grade students to read “Abe Lincoln’s Hat” and shared his personal and professional journey. Justice Reyes’s inspirational message supports all students’ learning and encourages all students to believe in themselves and to persevere to achieve their dreams.

Justice Reyes relayed his inspiring personal story about his humble upbringing, raised in a bilingual home on the southwest side of Chicago, and the challenges and obstacles he had to overcome to achieve his life goals. Reyes also talked about the importance of believing in yourself and having a dream. Reyes, who worked in factories to support his family, was a first-generation Latino college student who worked tirelessly while attending law school. He was elected the first Latino and currently only Appellate Court Justice in the State of Illinois. Reyes is now a candidate for the Illinois Supreme Court and is running to fill the vacancy of Justice Charles Freeman, who retired.

Reyes is an avid reader and a dedicated scholar, who fervently believes in justice and equity for all. His messages relay the importance of working hard, having a dream with students, who are inspired by his personal story, perseverance, and professional success. Students from Plainfield prepared questions for Justice Reyes and were excited about his visit.

Dr. Lisa Carlos, Principal of Plainfield, invited Justice Jesse Reyes to Plainfield Elementary School, District 62. Carlos states, “we are incredibly grateful to Justice Reyes for sharing his inspirational story with us and encouraging us to reach our dreams. Justice Reyes is incredibly gracious with his time, and Plainfield is honored to host Justice Reyes and most appreciative.