“We need to help bring communities to a place where people have hope and the ability to turn their lives around, which in turn will make all our communities safer.” – La Shawn K. Ford
children playing in daycare with their teacher

La Shawn K. Ford

Born to an unwed teenage mother in the Cabrini-Green housing projects in Chicago, never knowing his father, and adopted by his grandmother at birth, La Shawn K. Ford started his life with few material advantages. Growing up in the Austin and Englewood communities in Chicago, he attended Catholic elementary and high schools by the hard work, tenacity and love of a supportive family and community.

Ford learned the value of hard work and made money for his family by shoveling snow, mowing lawns, collecting bottles and cans for recycling, and stocking produce in the local grocery store. Being a good student, Ford became the first in his family to attend a four-year college when he entered Niles College Seminary and then Loyola University Chicago, where he played on the basketball team and earned a Bachelor of Science in Education with a minor in Political Science.

For six years, Ford taught elementary school social studies and coached basketball in the Chicago Public Schools. As a licensed Real Estate Broker, he founded his own real estate business, Ford Desired Real Estate. He is an Illinois Licensed Insurance Agent and continues to be licensed as a teacher. He is the proud father of his daughter, Tia.