Deachtra (Dee) Nurse
Deachtra began working with The Carlton Center as its Executive Director in 2015. She has over 25 years of experience working with underprivileged adults and adolescents through community service programs, and also 12 years of experience working in corrections and law enforcement with both adults and juvenile offenders.
Deachtra began her career in criminal justice where she worked for eleven years as a youth counselor for the Department of Juvenile Justice (formerly known as the Department of Corrections Juvenile Division) at Illinois Youth Center Saint Charles (IYC St. Charles). With a strong desire to do more work with the community, Deachtra left IYC-St. Charles to focus more on her passion of serving the community.
Deachtra has spent over 12 years working at 5 Breads & 2 Fish Food Pantry as the Executive Director. Working with the food pantry exposed Deachtra to families that struggled with low life skills, education, and histories of prior incarcerations or arrests which many reports mentally challenges their desire to see an opportunity for self-growth. This was alarming and Deachtra decided to reach out to the jail system, which lead her to her former job with JUST of DuPage.
At the DuPage County Jail, Deachtra held the Executive Director position for JUST. As Executive Director, Deachtra oversaw the daily functions and implementation of new programs to assist incarcerated individuals with opportunities for a higher chance at achieving a successful life after incarceration. During her time at JUST, Deachtra implemented the restructure of the men’s section of the jail. This included increasing and reevaluating all available programs including education, life skills, spiritual enrichment and the men’s Substance Abuse Recovery Pod which catered to substance abuse classes and self-help groups with certified instructors and evidence based materiel for each area covered.
After seeing the success of the men’s side of the jail. Deachtra saw a need to implement a gender specific program for the women in the jail as they currently were not receiving any services. Once the programs were up and running, the request from inmates to participate increased, and the programs expectation and outcome was successful.
Deachtra currently holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Management from The Colorado Technical University along with two associates degrees and is currently working on her Masters of Public Health. Deachtra is highly skilled in marketing, sales, fundraising, and grant writing and had improved her former jobs financial budget tremendously prior to moving into her new position with The Carlton Center.
At the Carlton Center, Deachtra oversees the operations of the community based non-profit organization which caters to struggling adults, and at risk youth (and their families). Her goal is to successfully place The Carlton Center in a position to enhance the lives of clients of The Carlton Center through varies programs and opportunities in the state of Illinois; beginning with Kane and DuPage Counties, and then eventually expanding to other states and countries.
She also brings to the table 20 years of experience working with youth in sports, and as the youth director at her church. She has traveled to Africa, the UK, and Spain working with at-risk-women and children.
Dee is married to David Nurse of 23 years. Her husband, David, retired after working 29 years at the Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice - the Illinois Youth Center which is located in Saint Charles.