Home > PUM Black History Salutes: Jacqueline Wilson, Chief Executive Officer of Three Rivers Adoption Council (TRAC)

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PUM Black History Salutes:  Jacqueline Wilson Chief Executive Officer of Three Rivers Adoption Council (TRAC)

PUM Celebrating Black History Month 2014 Featuring Pittsburgh Leaders Who Inspire

PittsburghUrbanMedia.com proudly celebrates Black History Month this February 2014 by honoring and featuring African American Leaders who inspire and demonstrate a commitment to uplifting future generations. What makes a leader inspirational? The ability to inspire people to reach great heights of performance and success is a skill that leaders need. Passion, purpose, listening and meaning help make a leader inspirational.

As we celebrate Black History Month, the leaders featured during the month of February all demonstrate that they are significantly shaping the world – in business, government, academia, the non-profit sector and more.  They are advancing their influence exponentially by shaping and creating a new generation of leaders who are poised to help lead our world forward.

We hope their stories will serve as an inspiration to encourage others to be motivated and inspired to achieve their goals and dreams.

Dr. Jacqueline Wilson-Chief Executive Officer of Three Rivers Adoption

Jacqueline Wilson has been the Chief Executive Officer of Three Rivers Adoption Council (TRAC) since 2000.  In this position, Dr. Wilson heads one of the largest full service adoption agencies in Western Pennsylvania and one of only a handful that recruits for both public and private child welfare agencies.  Prior to joining TRAC Dr. Wilson was Foster Care Director for Family Services of Western Pennsylvania.

Dr. Wilson currently serves as secretary on the Board of Directors of the Adoption Exchange Association, which holds the national Adopt US Kids grant..    Dr. Wilson also sits on the Board of Voice for Adoption and served as its secretary for three years.  She has been appointed to the Pennsylvania State Wide Adoption and Permanency Network Advisory Board, as well as the University Of Pittsburgh School Of Social Work Advisory Board. Most recently, Dr. Wilson has joined the Leadership Council for the Pennsylvania Partnership for Children – Porch Light Project.

 Dr. Wilson is a past Board member of the Shona Shariff African Dance and Drum Ensemble as well as My Brothers Keeper, a community re-entry program for individuals who have been involved in the criminal justice system because of their drug and alcohol related addictions.

 Accomplishments include being honored as one of the 2005 Angels in Adoption by Congressman Mike Doyle, being named as one of Pittsburgh’s 50 Women of Influence in 2004 and one of the 50 Women of Excellence in 2011 by the New Pittsburgh Courier.

 Dr. Wilson holds a BASW and an MSW from the University of Pittsburgh, and a Ph.D. from Indiana University of Pennsylvania in Administration and Leadership Studies.

PUM: Celebrating Black History Month- what are you most proud of as a Black American and what you have been able to accomplish in terms of your career.

JW: "Looking at the origins of Black History Month as a time to reflect on the significant contributions we have had to the world, it’s easy to have great feelings of pride with regards to the thousands of notable accomplishments made. However, it is also a time to recognize the struggles and barriers that Blacks have faced throughout history and still face today. From Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King and Madam C J Walker to Emmitt Till and Trayvon Martin, this month is the time to look at how far we have come as a people, and to assess what work there is left to do.

 As a Black woman who was a child of the 60’s, my family didn’t leave it to the school system or society to teach self-worth. I was always taught that I could be whatever I desired, as long as I was willing to put in the work necessary to dispel myths and knock down the barriers that attempted to block my path.

I am most proud of the favor God has shown me in the ability to achieve the successes in my life. While becoming the CEO of Three Rivers Adoption Council and most recently obtaining my Ph.D. are accomplishments that I am very proud of, I am most proud in my ability to show other young Black females that societal images and prejudices don’t have to dictate the path they are able to blaze. I am proud to be a role model to immolate that – like them – growing up in a Black community, being educated in the public school system and having a child at the age of 19, doesn’t stop their dream, but rather, their dreams can be achieved – because of."

PUM: Why is Black History important to you and our world?

JW: Black History is important to our world not solely because it is a history of a people of color, but because it provides a glimpse of the historical record of achievements that is excluded from the literature and halls of academia. From computer science – to medical science – to every day household items, focusing on Black history gives educators the opportunity to instill racial and cultural pride in children, who may not otherwise know the important role Blacks have played throughout the world. This knowledge is not only important to Black children, but all children and adults should have the privilege of this knowledge.

PUM: Any additional thoughts or comments about Black History?

JW: My one desire is that as we become a more inclusive, diverse society, we will begin to use Black History month less as a time to learn about the accomplishments of Black people, but as a celebration of the perseverance and greatness of a people. Not just a reflection of our past, but the recognition of our present and an indicator of the future. The best is still yet to come.



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