Hattie Paulk

Paulk, Hattie

Hattie Paulk is a native of Champaign, IL born in 1942. Her family was one of the original Black settlers in Champaign. Her aunt and uncle were the founders of the first Church of God in Christ. Her parents, Robert Lee and Marcella Chipman Taylor, had eight children. Hattie is the mother of four and a former foster mother to more than 100 children of all ethnic backgrounds. She stands out as an example of what perseverance and determination can mean.

She has overcome dozens of obstacles and hardships to get her education, and gives all the credit to her family for inspiring her. As a deeply religious woman, Hattie is an ordained minister. She has been an associate minister at The Church of Living God PGT and assistant Pastor at the Church of the Living God PGT in Chicago, Illinois. She has an Associate in Arts Degree from Parkland College. In 2000, she was inducted into Parkland College Society. She then received a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Eastern Illinois University, Charleston, IL. In 1989, she received the U.S. Outstanding Adult Award.

Globally, Hattie has taken her altruistic and community-driven spirit with her during times where she did not reside in Champaign. When her husband was in the Air Force, the two were stationed in Germany and she was hired as Director for the Airman’s Club, organizing monthly programs to help those in the military.

Being very active in the community, Hattie has received numerous awards, among them being Woman of Distinction from the Green Meadows Girl Scouts. She was involved heavily with The Neighborhood House, now known as the Douglas Community Center, working to provide opportunities for children and adults through community movies, athletic opportunities, a skating rink, and the Drum Corps Drill Team. She was also a member of the group called The Clovers, a group directed by Erma Bridgewater that did community work (including fundraising for UNICEF). She was also an instructor with the Drill and Bugle Corps, helping young women. In addition, she was Director of the Champaign Schools Family Information Center, where she and her staff initiated a Warm-A-Kid Drive, which has given away more than 600 coats to children. The center also started a Young Achievers Award Program, where more than 150 children were recognized as Young Achievers. She has taught youth, working with various schools, a local fire department, and many local organizations, and was a Co-Host on WEFT Radio on Sunday Mornings.