Dr. Bernice Gordon-Young

Dr. Bernice Gordon-Young


Psychotherapist, Peoria County Jail and Peoria City Council Member, At-large


Occupation: Bernice Gordon-Young, a licensed clinical professional therapist (LCPH), has more than 20 years experience in mental health and counseling. She is currently the lead mental health provider at Peoria County Jail, where she coordinates services related to the overall well-being of men and women at the jail. This includes group and individual counseling, crisis intervention, and assistance to medical and security staff. She is also a part-time substance abuse counselor for students.


Community Involvement: Ms. Gordon-Young is founder and CEO of It Takes A Village of Peoria Inc. (ITAV), a charitable organization that strives to meet the tangible needs of area residents, whatever the need may be, from food to school supplies, prom dresses or appliances, all free of charge. ITAV gives away items at a ‘love store’ at Manual High School and two other schools. She is vice president of the board of Central Illinois Lupus Support Group and a board member of the Women’s Fund, YWCA, and the Tourism Reserve Fund. She is a member of the Illinois Opiod Remediation Advisory Board, the health and human services committee of the Joint Commission on Racial Justice and Equity and Peoria’s alumni chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Inc.


Education: Bachelor of science, speech communications, Southern Illinois University-Carbondale; master of arts, community and agency counseling, Bradley University; doctorate of philosophy (PhD), counselor education and supervision with a specialization in forensic mental health, Walden University


Elected Office: Ms. Gordon-Young was elected to an at-large seat on Peoria City Council in 2023.


Three things she’s passionate about: Advocating for the importance of serving as a gatekeeper to quality care in the field of mental health; helping others through simple acts of kindness, and the love and care of her family and friends


Three favorite hobbies: Gardening, traveling, home entertaining


Career Influence or Inspiration: “My parents serve as amazing examples of the value of education and hard work. It was my mother, Gloria Wilson’s structure, routine and consistency that shaped my development of a strong work ethic, self-discipline and perseverance. My late father, John Gordon, instilled the importance of understanding the process of challenges and how to move through them with my head held high.

“Overall, I have been blessed to have amazing siblings and friends who have always encouraged me to be my best. Ultimately, my daughter, Dominique Wash, has always been my ‘why,’ especially during tough times. My grandson’s diagnosis of autism inspired me to advocate for him and everyone else who deserves appropriate services and support.

“Spanning my career, the foundation of influence in the field of counseling came from being raised in a family that always looked out for other people with compassion and care.”


Inspiration quote: “Problems you solve, situations you deal with. Figure out which one you have and take action.” Her late father, John Gordon

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