Who We Are

About the Alumni Association

The Alumni Association was established in September of 2009 by successful graduates of the substance abuse treatment programs of the Cook County Sheriff’s Day Reporting Center and Pre-Release Center. Many of the senior alumni had been through the programs in the 1990s or some in early 2000s and have since led lives of sobriety and service. The Association was organized as a positive voluntary social network for men who are committed to their own recovery and who seek to support and assist others who are attempting to re-establish their lives as sober and productive citizens in the community.

“There’s always someone with a heart and a story on the other side.”

Our Valuable Team Members

Patrick Covington Sr.
Patrick Covington Sr.President
Patrick Covington Sr. is a founding member of the Alumni Association.

The Alumni Association was established in 2009 by Patrick Covington and three other participants in the Cook County Sheriff’s Day Reporting Center who formed their own informal recovery group. Through Patrick’s twenty-six years of personal experience in addiction and criminal lifestyles, the idea of the Alumni Association was born.
Following their release from Cook County Jail in 2010, the group established two weekly men’s support groups in the Lawndale area, and West Englewood area of Chicago. The support groups have run continuously since the beginning. Patrick has played a leading role in developing and leading the support groups which has provided an important pathway for men as they work to achieve stability and reintegration in the community.
Patrick grew up on the Westside in the Garfield Park area in Chicago. He graduated from Westinghouse Vocational High School in 1988 where his passion was mostly focused on basketball as he played on the team for 3 years. Patrick is currently employed as a Court Backlog Specialist with Safer Foundation and the Office of the Cook County Public Defender.
Patrick is also a proud father of 5 beautiful children and has recently become engaged to Tequilla Lawrence who is Pursuing a career in Nursing. His other skills are 14 years of experience in home remodeling and renovations.
Additional Accomplishments by Patrick:
• Member of the Cook County Board President Public Defender Review Committee – 2015
• Recipient of the New Covenant Community Development Corp. “Game Changer Award” -2015
• Chicago Daily Law Bulletin : Interviewed on recidivism 08/05/2014
• Personal Narrative for WGN TV News story “Stuck in Cook County Jail” http://wgntv.com/2014/06/11/stuck-in-cook-county-jail/
• Recipient of the Sheriffs Tom Darts Cook County Leadership Award – 2010

Patrick is a committed, dedicated and determined individual who is very passionate about the work he does and the people he serves.

Darold Wicker
Darold WickerCo-Founder
Darold Wicker is one of the founding members of the Alumni Association where our mission statement is to provide a positive social network for men trying to maintain sobriety and achieve community and family re-integration and stability after being released from jail.
While working tirelessly as a mentor/case manager for the Integrated Alumni Association Project, Darold is also a member of the Hope House Alumni Program – Christian Men’s Recovery Home and a part of the Lawndale Community Church. Darold has instituted diverse programs and initiatives for the Alumni Association and he continues to display a passion for the youth as demonstrated by his coaching youth basketball in the Lawndale Community.
As Darold was a participant in the Cook County Jail Day Reporting Program for several months, the Cook County Jail Director noticed a change in some of the participants, in that their stories of change were having an impact. Instead of hanging out and getting into trouble, a few participants started making meetings together, showing concern about one another. As Darold was released from the Day Reporting Program he continued to help the men in the program and assisted in the development of a Speaker’s Bureau. This helped to form the Alumni Association.
Darvin Worlds
Darvin WorldsSenior Community Coordinator
My name is Darvin Worlds and I am a 54 year old male. I live in the Lawndale area of Chicago. At the age of twelve, I began to use drugs and joined a gang which led me down a very destructive path for 30 years. I graduated from George Collins high school in 1979, and went on to Malcolm X College and graduated in 2005.
In 2006, I started to turn my life around and started working as a Counselor at Cook County Jail. I learned how to facilitate therapeutic groups, in particular peer to peer group therapy. I’ve also worked for various social service providers such as; Haymarket, Gateway Foundation, Healthcare Alternatives Systems, and the Mental Health Behavior Group.
Since my recovery, I have obtained various certificates in this field such as Risk Reduction, Anger Management, and many others. I have a passion for people who struggle with addiction, and men and women who want to change their lives after incarceration. I have also been an Ordained Minister for 12 years. I am the father of 7 wonderful children. I have love and empathy for all races of people.
Jason Little
Jason LittleMedia Relations Coordinator
My name is Jason Little and I am 33 years old. I grew up on the west side of Chicago with my parents. As a kid I enjoyed sports, playing and watching but in my teen years I started to see another part of life – the street life. It became an attraction that I went into head first, blind at the age of 13. At that point in my life I didn’t understand the decision I was making and the choices that would change my life from age13 to 18. I was just a lost soul who had been arrested and charged with a felony for dealing drugs and had a child but was still able to attend junior college on a scholarship to play basketball which was short lived because two months after being there I found out I had an irregular heart beat and I went back to the streets because that’s all I thought I knew.
I went home for Christmas break in 2003 and never returned back to college. I started back to my street life as a 20 year old, in which I was still blind to the streets and how life would change. I was shot 7 times and paralyzed from the neck down and was never supposed to walk again. After a 1 year and 6 months recovery I started to get feeling again in my upper body. I did therapy for several years after that, getting full body movements from the knee up. I would still be paralyzed from knee down but would learn to walk again with assistance by way of a brace on the lower part of my leg. I would go on to mentor kids at my church and get married and have another child by my childhood sweet heart. Everything seems so perfect in my life, but things will change again for me.
I lost my job as a mentor at my church. I had no money, 3 kids and plenty of bills and all I knew was the streets and the streets I returned to. I ended up losing everything, my wife, kids, my home, and many relationships I had worked on over the years and I was down but there was one person who had my back and was there for me.
His name is Darold Wicker; he would support me and try to help me off the streets by getting me to join Hope House which is a Christian men’s recovery home that he also went to. I met Darold years before when he was in Hope House, while I was working as a mentor with the youth basketball team and we became friends because we both share a passion for helping young men. Darold would help me come to the realization that I needed help and he would walk with me every step and he did just that!
One day, Darold came to me and asked if I would speak at the Cook County Day Reporting Center Program where there were over 200 men just like me, men who just needed a “Hope Shot”. I never saw myself working at the Cook County Jail….I just thought it would be great idea to speak with men and share my story of my struggles and how I was working on getting my life back on track.
I would stay at Hope House and Darold would talk with me and one day asked me did I have a resume. Darold and Patrick Covington Sr. had started the Alumni Association at the Cook County Jail and they were looking to hire someone. I put in my resume and did the interview and was hired to work at the Day Reporting Center. My dreams had changed and my vision became clear that I wanted to help people change their thinking, which will help change their situations. It’s been a blessing working in the Cook County Jail. The last 18 months, I’ve learned so much about myself and how helping someone else is what it’s all about….It’s not about me.
Ray Robinson
Ray RobinsonCommunity Engagement Coordinator
Ray Robinson was born on the south side of Chicago and attended Parkside Elementary. Ray also attended South Shore High School where he dropped out in his first year. This began his introduction into gangs, drug selling and drug use.
It was inevitable for him not to end up in jail where he spent some time. Jail had become a dark gift, and it forced him to look at what was precious and important in life.
It was here that he made a conscious decision to change his life, and after his release he became a member of the Alumni Association and NA (Narcotics Anonymous). Ray Robinson is the Chairperson for the Winner’s Circle Meetings at St. Leonard’s House and he is also a mentor for young men at A Safe Haven Shelter.
Ray Robinson also is employed part-time with the First Defense Legal Aid, works with youth and also has been appointed by Cook County President Tony Preckwinkle to a special Pilot Drug Field-Testing Program Committee where he is the community representative.