At 24, she started this.
At 26, she’s lead an Experiential Learning Trip to Gambia,West Africa. Orchestrated a city-wide leadership conference for girls. Hosted a networking event for women. And consults to start up non-profit organizations to help them maximize their opportunity to grow.
That’s exactly four times the accomplishment of most women her age- and maybe even twice her age.
There was a young woman who favored me I was told. Little did I know she would eventually become my Soror, little sister, friend and inspiration.
When it comes to reaching our goals, some of us limit ourselves by our surroundings, resources and even circumstances. But if there is one thing you will learn from Rachel, it is that life is worth the living and we should all do it with our whole hearts- no matter your age.
Rachel has lived her entire life inspired by the voices, hearts and minds of women. “I credit the network of people who have poured into me words of wisdom and overall development….starting with my mother,” she told me. You see, Rachel’s mother told her as a little girl she could go anywhere and do anything- as long as she had a library card and a book. Rachel read her books and used her mother’s influence to propel her into her dreams.
An educator at heart, Rachel is driven to change lives by teaching processes and methodologies to individuals who want to learn and be positive change agents in their communities. “I want people who have a large vision to know there is a way to do what you have the desire to do,” she shares. “I provide the resources to those who want to learn in order for them to build capacity. I teach them and then they go on and teach others…sort of like a domino effect,” Rachel continues. A domino effect it is indeed. Or as I like to refer to it, Rachel is helping others pay it forward.
Rachel also finds it important to motivate her peers. “You can’t be selfish in this movement. These women [referring to her business partners] already had the passion. I simply pitched to them an opportunity to delve into their passion even further,” she shares. Rachel likes to think of her work with her peers as somewhat of a bartering system. “We’re all women of similar ages and at the same places in our careers so it’s like iron sharpening iron. We all benefit from the experience.”
And what about her other friends? Referring to her DreamGirls Conference, “With my girl friends, I knew they wanted to get involved [with mentoring work] so I sold them my idea too,” she says with a laugh. “Why not start here with us and be a mentor? I said to them. And they saw the opportunity I presented to them as manageable.”
Obviously, a motivator and a marketer, Rachel’s success is predicated on the fact that she seeks to educate others just as much as she seeks to be a vessel for others to fulfill their passion.
Wise actions from someone her age, right?! How does she do it? “I don’t think about it much. I believe this is all a part of my divine appointment,” says Rachel about her journey thus far. “If you follow your passion, certain milestones will come…Different milestones mean different things to different people…I just see mine as an opportunity to add to my selling point,” she says. It has been her unrelenting drive, dedication and passion that has gotten @Ms.RachelD so far.
As women we often look to our elders for inspiration and guidance. Welp, Rachel Wilson is a beautiful reminder that sometimes our greatest influencers are those right next to us. Thank you Rachel for all that you do. May you continue to be blessed as you bless others….
These days, if you’re able to catch up with her, you will find Rachel working towards her Masters in Divinity at Ashland Theological Seminary (her second Masters degree by the way) while also directing the Freedom Leadership Academy at Cuyahoga Community College. Within the next 5 years, Rachel plans to facilitate more speaking and training engagements in places where there is a need to grow social leadership capacity; domestically and internationally.
If you have any questions for Rachel or want to learn more about The Dream Institute, email Rachel at: firstname.lastname@example.org.