Cheryl Parks

Ms. Cheryl Parks is the Executive Director of Jobs Partnership, a faith-based employment training and character education program for the chronically unemployed and underemployed that operates throughout the State of Illinois through the Illinois Department of Corrections and in several Central Illinois Communities.  Her and her husband, Pastor Cliff Parks, have three daughters and three grandchildren. Ms. Parks received her Bachelors Degree in Social Work with a focus in Special Education from Western Connecticut University. Alongside her husband, Ms. Parks has served in pastoral ministry since 1990 serving 4 different congregations around the country. Along with her pastoral responsibilities she also worked as a teacher in both regular education and special education classes in California, Amman Jordan, and Peoria Illinois. Most recently Ms. Parks has overseen the institution of a comprehensive Jobs Partnership re-entry program at the Peoria County Jail. This holistic program uses local community experts to address issues such as job skills, family restoration, addiction and trauma recovery, financial literacy, and improvement of law enforcement relations.  In addition to regular classes, inmates are engaged in Moral Reconation Therapy – a cognitive-behavioral group therapy that has been proven to reduce recidivism and a support group has been formed for family members impacted by the incarceration of a loved one.  In 2015 Ms. Parks received an award for being one of the top 25 Women in Leadership in Central Illinois.  In 2019 Ms. Parks received the “Unsung Sheroes” Award for her work in the Peoria community and specifically the Peoria County Jail.

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