Welcome Sonya Jelks, Our New Connecticut Director

It is my pleasure to welcome Sonya Jelks as the new Connecticut Director for CSH. Sonya is a talented and passionate community advocate and 2-term city councilor with the city of Meriden, Connecticut. Sonya will bring her background and expertise in policy development and implementation across private, public, and nonprofit sectors along with her passion for people and her wealth of knowledge serving and improving communities. 

Professionally, Sonya has worked throughout the US and abroad as an Information Technology Manager and Project Consultant. Leaving the IT profession, she shifted careers to work on issues important to communities throughout the state as a legislative aide at the Connecticut General Assembly and as the Clerk of the Labor Committee. As both a municipal official and as a legislative aide, Sonya has had an opportunity to be actively involved in policy decisions around constituent needs, including labor issues, mental health and homelessness concerns, poverty and crime prevention strategies, improving educational options, diversity and equity policies, and affordable housing investments and opportunities.

To tackle these systemic problems, Sonya's advocacy and focus have been on building strong community partnerships with legislators, businesses, nonprofits, and community members, to make lasting change that helps underserved communities and populations. Outside of her council work, in her spare time, Sonya has coached soccer teams, led Girls Scout troops, been a dance and band mom volunteer, and served as a board member and president of Meriden Children First, a nonprofit dedicated to improving the lives of all children in Meriden.

Currently, she serves as a Board member of Emerge CT, a women's leadership organization that trains women to run for public office. She also coaches competitive FIRST robotics teams and mentors high school students from the Nutmeg Big Brother Big Sister program and the Sustainable CT Meriden program. Additionally, she serves on the parish council and lectors at St. Thomas Parish in Southington, where she has been a church member for over 10 years. Lastly, Sonya has membership with the Women Legislators' Lobby, the Farmington Valley Links, the Meriden Elks, and is a sustaining member of the Junior League of Hartford.

Grateful for the many leadership opportunities in which she has held, being mom to her daughters is the role that Sonya most proudly holds and values, as it keeps her motivated to keep making a difference every day.  

I am honored to welcome Sonya to the CSH family. Please don’t hesitate to reach out and join me in welcoming Sonya to CSH. Sonya can be reached at sonya.jelks@csh.org.

Liz Drapa
Vice President, Field Operations and Consulting

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