Denise Hurst hails from the great City of Springfield. She is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and Springfield College School of Social Work.
While studying at UMass, Denise volunteered at the Everywoman’s Center and staffed a 24-hour hotline for sexual assault, domestic violence, lesbian battering and ritual cult abuse victims. She was trained through the Legal Studies Department as a mediator and mediation trainer in Multicultural Conflict Resolution. Denise’s volunteer work and training led her to take a position as a Victim/Witness Advocate for the Hampden County District Attorney’s Office. She cites this particular position as the foundation of the social and civic work she would engage in for the years to come.
Denise has been committed to working with children and families throughout the Pioneer Valley and most recently served as the Holyoke Site Director for the Department of Mental Health. Denise is an adjunct professor at Cambridge College.
In September 2016, Denise was appointed by Massachusetts State Treasurer Deb Goldberg to Regional Manager of the Massachusetts State Lottery, Western Mass.
In 2013, Denise was re-elected to her second term on the Springfield School Committee. She has served as Secretary-Treasurer for the Massachusetts Association of School Committees, Division V, and currently holds the position of Chair of the Minority Caucus.
Recognizing the importance of having a voice, Denise is passionate about strengthening families, women, and children. She volunteers and serves on various boards. She serves on the Executive Board of MotherWoman, Inc., and UMass Women into Leadership. Denise is an inaugural graduate of Leadership Institute for Political and Public Impact, Women’s Fund of Western Massachusetts, a member of the League of Women Voters, the Puerto Rican/Latino Leadership Collective, and a graduate of the 62nd Citizens’ Legislative Seminar, Massachusetts Senate.
Denise has been honored with the following awards; 2013 Massachusetts All State School Committee Award, Urban division, BusinessWest’s 40 under Forty Class of 2014 and Fresh Anointing Ministries, “Ordinary Women Doing Extraordinary Things”, You Make A Difference Award, The Hispanic Association in Higher Education, The Fannie Pettie Watts Award, Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc, 2015 100 Women of Color in New England, and 2015 Top 25 Women To Watch in Western Mass.
Denise resides in Springfield with her husband, Springfield City Councilor Attorney Justin J. Hurst, Sr. and their two sons, Justin Jr. and Jackson Douglas.