Eva Castillo, Iowa

2021 National APSE Board of Directors At-Large Candidate

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How many years have you been involved in integrated employment/supported employment?

18 years

The area(s) that best represents your current position/experience:

Advocate, Service Provider or Manager    

Describe your history/nature of involvement/interest in integrated employment/supported employment.

In 2003 I came to work at Hope Haven Area Development Center as a part-time job coach, over the next 18 years I completed various roles in the Supported Employment world, job developer, obtaining CESP, serve on IA APSE board, Chamber Ambassador, Chamber Board member, etc. All these opportunities were ways for me to stay in touch with the communities, to find out the needs, and be the voice to promote integrated employment. I am still eager to learn and grow professionally so that all individuals achieve their employment goals.  

How will you be able to contribute to the growth and improvement of APSE as an organization?

I am a very positive person; I always see the silver lining in situations. I look for the next approach, the next avenue to take in order for goals to be met. I want each individuals’ successes/stories to be heard across the country. I am a strong advocate that likes to have fun all while making a difference and changing people’s mindset about what individuals with disabilities can do.     


Eva Castillo is the Director of the Employment Services at Hope Haven Area Development Center in Burlington, IA. Eva has worked in Supported Employment her entire employment at Hope Haven, since 2003. She has upheld the role of a job coach, job developer, and program manager. In 2013, Eva was elected to the Iowa APSE Board of Directors, serving in the role of President and currently the Treasurer. In 2014, Eva obtained her CESP credential. Eva is active in her community, serving on the Chamber Ambassadors, Board member of the Greater Burlington Partnership Chamber of Commerce, Parent Teacher Organization President. Eva’s passion is prompting Employment First not only in Southeast Iowa but throughout the country. It is important that all individuals are given the opportunity to work in competitive employment. Professionally Eva has assisted many individuals transition out of Sheltered Workshops and assist them in identifying their own employment path.

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