Rev. Dr. Michael Louis Pfleger is a Roman Catholic priest and a social activist. Fr. Pfleger attended Archbishop Quigley Preparatory Seminary South, Loyola University and the University of Saint Mary of the Lake. He was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Chicago in 1975 and has served at St. Sabina since 1981.
Fr. Pfleger is the founder of the Employment Resource Center, the Ark Youth Center, Saint Sabina Social Service Center, Thea Bowman Spiritual Advance Center, Samaritan House for the homeless, Saint Sabina 80-unit Elders Village and the Beloved Community as well as several Chicago anti-violence initiatives.
Fr. Pfleger has been involved in many issues, such as, campaigns against the sale of drug paraphernalia, billboards that targeted children with alcohol and tobacco advertising and saturated communities of Color, negative music that glorified violence and degraded women, the violence and disrespect of women in the media and the easy access to guns and the violence that is snatching the lives of children across the country.
After graduating from the University of Iowa with a B.A. in journalism and mass communications, Jocelyn worked for PBS affiliated Channel 20 before realizing she wanted to pursue a career that would allow her to make a difference in the lives of others. She left her position at Channel 20 in 2008 to work as the Violence Prevention Coordinator at the ARK of St. Sabina and developed a number of youth empowerment programs at the ARK, including some that have received statewide attention. In 2010, Jocelyn became the Executive Director of the ARK of St. Sabina. She later went on to earn her M.A. in social service administration from the University of Chicago in 2012. Jocelyn has carried the ARK through the Illinois budget crisis and, and has helped to launch new programs and initiatives to ensure the organization continues to make an impact even in the midst of a difficult financial environment.
Courtney became a part of the ARK’s family in 2011 when she joined as a volunteer during her senior year at Roosevelt University. Upon receiving a B.A. in Sociology, Courtney went on to teach 6th-8th grade at Woodson Elementary School; but knew she always wanted to return to the ARK. Following a year of teaching, Courtney returned as a part time tutor at the ARK. As she excelled in the role, she was promoted to Program Coordinator and continued to progress through the organization as Assistant Program Director, Program Director and eventually her current position of Senior Program Director. During her tenure at the ARK, Courtney has reformed the after-school program by providing structure, adding Fitness, Team Building, Female and Male Discussion group sessions, as well as creating a culture of empowerment and support for both staff and youth. Her mission is to sustain programs that shape, empower, and educate our youth. Courtney holds an M.A. in Nonprofit Management at North Park University and is the current president of Delta Mu Delta Honor Society.
Pam graduated magna cum laude from Olivet University with a B.A. in business administration and spent over 20 years in the world of banking. But after one of her sons, Terrell Bosley, was murdered at the age of 18 on the grounds of a church in 2006, she changed directions to make a difference in the lives of youth. As the ARK’s Violence Prevention Manager, Pam has empowered young people to be leaders and self-advocates, guiding them to discover their own voices and abilities to bring change to their communities. Pam is also the co-founder of Purpose Over Pain, an organization that was founded to offer support to parents who have lost children to violence, advocate for common sense gun measures, and provide a safe space and mentorship for youth.
Michelle joined the ARK’s family in 2013 when she wanted a change of pace from her job as an office manager in a neurologist’s clinic. She started off working with the ARK as a Community Watcher, but was quickly promoted to a Team lead, and eventually became the Community Watch Manager in 2016. As the Community Watch Manager, she oversees a team of 60 Safe Passage employees, and is responsible for ensure that the Safe Passage team carries out the mission of the program by keeping the children at Simeon, Team Englewood, Bogan and Robeson safe as they go to and from school. Michelle is extremely passionate about the mission of the Safe Passage program, and that is evident through the work that she has done with the program. As a Chicago native who loves working with kids, Michelle also holds Associates Degrees in business administration and psychology.
“Be the person you needed when you were younger.” A quote by Ayesha Siddiqi, that lead Rayna to graduate with a B.A. in Sociology from Eastern Illinois University. She knew she wanted a career where she could make a strong impact on the lives of youth, especially young girls. Rayna worked in youth development as a residential counselor at Job Corps and a disciplinarian for a charter school on the city’s west side, where she co-founded the all-girls mentoring group Women Empowering Women. She joined the ARK in 2018 as the Program Specialist where she continues to execute her youth development skills and fulfill the mission here at the ARK.
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