No one challenges traditional roles and stereotypes more than Arlether Wilson. After spending more than ten years in foster care she moved back to Fifth Ward, a poverty stricken community in Houston, Texas where no one was expected to excel. While her life story is similar to many African American women, it is surprisingly distinctive. Arlether has always been an achiever and attributes her drive, determination and will to survive to her unyielding faith. As the oldest of three children she was expected to grow up fast and relinquish much of her childhood. Then just when she thought the generational cycle of teen pregnancy was broken she became pregnant and was forced to drop out of school during her senior year.
During her journey Arlether encountered many struggles, but none as arduous or impactful as homelessness. In the end it proved to be a great learning experience, even though several people tried to discourage her by telling her that she would never succeed because of her family history. Fortunately, Arlether was determined to defy their beliefs and follow her own dreams. Her life changed after Black American poet, essayist and lecturer, Nikki Giovanni visited Phillis Wheatley High School. That was the first time that Arlether was inspired to write.
Defying the odds:
After her divorce she applied and was accepted into the police academy, where she graduated number one in her class. Three years later she was promoted to sergeant and later excelled to the rank of captain. During her tenure as an officer Arlether also earned her Master Peace Officer Certification, which is the highest certification an officer can attain. Then in 1998 she was honored as “Officer of the Year” and later earned several congressional commendations.
Arlether is a veteran officer and has gained a wealth of experience, which includes being a certified Child Abuse and Family Violence Investigator. But she didn’t stop there. In 2001 Arlether graduated from cum laude from the University of Houston and later earned her Masters Degree in Behavioral Science.
Then in 2005 Arlether was offered a position with another agency where she created and manages a Victims’ Services Division. Today Arlether is an advocate for abused women and children throughout her city. She believes that it is important to take an active and supportive role in one’s community, and not just sit back and “point fingers”. Therefore she is an avid volunteer for many charitable organizations. She is the vice president of w.o.m.e.n.EO. Inc., which is a national women's organization that mentors women and girls.
Although Arlether has an unusual background for a writer, she is the debut author of an inspirational memoir, Rewriting the Script, which will be available in bookstores, online, and in e-book format this fall.
Despite all of her accomplishments, Arlether is most proud of being a good mother to two wonderful young adults. She is presently working on her doctorate and her next book.
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Minister Tonya Jones