School Choir Director and RtI Assistant, Pleasant Valley Intermediate School
Occupation: Cardell Pickens serves dual roles at Pleasant Valley Intermediate School in Peoria while working on a degree in education. As an assistant in the school’s Response to Intervention (RtI) program, he helps provide effective tutoring in reading and math for fourth-to-eighth-graders. He also teaches choir to sixth-to-eighth-grade students and serves as music director for the Drama Club. Additionally, he is manager on duty for the RiverPlex Recreation and Wellness Center.
Community Involvement: His volunteer work revolves around his church, from serving as a musician and worship leader to working with other ministry outreach programs. His previous job as a day camp counselor and supervisor put him touch with a community of young people who participate in Peoria Park District programs.
Education: Associates degree, business administration, Robert Morris University; currently working on education degree at Grand Canyon University
Three things he’s passionate about: The ministry, worshipping God, serving others.
Three favorite hobbies: Writing music and singing with others, spending time with family and loved ones, cooking
Career Influence or Inspiration:”Bishop Richard Howell Jr. has been a major inspiration in my life. While growing up in Minneapolis, MN, he gave me an opportunity to work right alongside him in ministry. As a teenager, I was pulled into executive meetings with ministry staff to work on church conferences and other church events. He made sure I understood the church involved more than just singing and preaching. Ministry goes far beyond the four walls of the church. He also pushed me to be the best man I can be. Sometimes we try to find excuses as to why we aren’t progressing, but Bishop Howell always made sure some type of progress was being made.”
Inspirational Quote: “A successful man is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks others have thrown at him.” David Brinkley
“No matter how many mistakes you make or how slow your progress, you are still way ahead of everyone who isn’t trying.” Tony Robbins
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