True Life: Parks and Recreation
By Angie Caple '14, '15
Published Tuesday, Feb. 3, 2015
Parks and Recreation may seem to be a joke with Amy Poehler, but for Jennifer Cirillo ’02, it is a profession that is consequential to Palm Beach County. Originally born in Erie, Pennsylvania, Jennifer was always geared towards sports and a more active side of living. Following her graduation, she was able to play basketball at the collegiate level for Broward College. By the time she was deciding to get her master’s degree, Lynn was the only local University that offered a Sports Management program. We were extremely fortunate to have this hardworking woman on our campus, and she is now representing the Knights in a very bright light.
Jennifer worked for USA Today, Bethesda health care systems as well as the YMCA. While gaining this experience within the workforce, she began to pinpoint what profession she could see herself in the future. Making the decision to return back to school, with a baby on the way, was a very ambitious choice for Jennifer; and she handled it with grace. Dick Young, the athletic director at the time, happened to be Jennifer’s mentor upon entering into the master’s program. He said, “Do you want to be a worker or a mom?” and Jennifer took that brutal advice, determined to be both, and sprinted for her degree. With her unforgiving work ethic and passion, she was able to work full time, have a baby, and graduate successfully.
While hoping to one day be a college athletic director, Jennifer has found her calling in public service, as the Assistant Department Director of Parks and Recreation for Palm Beach County. Her department provides a wide range of public recreation opportunities from Boca Raton to Jupiter, across to Belle Glade. With 82 parks that are open to the public and over 500 employees; there are many people that Jennifer is responsible for. She is an advocate of sustainability, as well as maintaining the historic and cultural aspects that are precious within the county. Constant thanks should be given to this admirable woman, who always seeks to improve our county by maintaining its core values.