COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – The new U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio is from Ohio.

The region includes the metro areas of Columbus, Cincinnati, and Dayton.

Kenneth Parker has been with the U.S. Attorney’s office since 1999 and credits his village for getting him to where he is today.

“When people gave me advice, as far as my parents, to go meet other people and listen to good people, I did that, so my blessings incorporated other people coming into my life,” he said.

Leading the district to protect the American people takes on special meaning for Parker. This year, two days before Thanksgiving, the Cincinnati native was sworn in as the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio.

“We are going to protect the most vulnerable in our community from persons who are trying to take advantage of them,” Parker said.

Parker and his wife, who is from Cleveland, have twin daughters. For him, a Tuskegee University and Indiana University law graduate, the job is personal.

“I love the people of Ohio, so, of course, so anything that impacts that love is problematic,” he said.

Parker has advice for those who are finding their way in the world.

“Never taking your blessing for granted, recognizing that when people give you advice, you listen,” he said. “So you don’t look at yourself as ‘I can’t do something.’ You always believe that you can.”

Parker credits the Summer Work Experience in Law program for giving him exposure to the legal profession. The program, which he went on to chair, strives to increase the numbers of African Americans in the field.

The U.S. Southern District of Ohio covers 48 counties.

For more on Parker’s plans for the office as well as his take on some crucial cases in Columbus, watch the video above.