Bradley alumnus Daniel Hunt thinks any person with a problem can be helped, and that philosophy has guided him through his job as a probation officer.
After graduating from Illinois State University in 1995, Hunt began working as a behavioral counselor for Peoria District 150 schools. He decided to pursue a master’s degree at Bradley, and in 2002 received a degree in human development counseling. He began working as a probation officer in Tazewell County for both juvenile and adult offenders, and eventually attained a master’s in business administration from the University of Illinois.
As Tazewell County’s chief adult probation officer, he works on individual probation cases and court orders, supervises other probation officers, hires new officers and helps develop and implement the programs used to treat offenders. He is also part of a small group that helps train all of the new probation officers throughout the state. As one of 20 members of the state Probation Coordinating Council, he ensures that programs for substance abuse, mental health and anger management meet state standards.
Hunt works with many community organizations, as well. He serves on the Domestic Violence Multidisciplinary Team, working to provide services for victims of abuse while also coordinating police and hospitals. He is a trustee for the South Side Office of Concern, a temporary home for the homeless and mentally ill where they have access to licensed counselors and case managers.
But according to Hunt, his most meaningful work is volunteering for Grace Presbyterian Church, which he has attended since the early 1990s. He and his wife lead many young adult groups, including high school service teams and Sunday school classes for young families. He is a member of the church’s board of elders, where he looks after the spiritual needs of the entire church.
Hunt says his faith has taught him many lessons in love and forgiveness, which have proven very helpful in his line of work. He says “a mistake is a mistake,” and although there must be consequences for those mistakes, he said he tries never to judge others.
“Love people and love the idea that people can improve,” he said.