Gwen Wilson, MSW
The revelations from the informal GOALS' support groups gave Gwen Wilson impetus to formalize the project and champion programs for social change. While advocating for mental health support for underserved African Americans, Gwen enrolled in a master's program in community mental health at U.C. Berkeley's School of Social Welfare and began her studies. Following graduation with an advanced degree in community mental health and backing/encouragement from her professors and friends, Gwen presented proposals to the California Wellness Foundation and Alameda County's Behavioral Healthcare Services to provide mental health support services to Welfare-to-Work participants. She was awarded grants and contracts to provide peer counseling services to African American women and their children/families in Oakland who participated in the CalWORKs welfare to work program. Since April 2002, GOALS for Women's African American Family Counseling Center has reached out and supported over 1,200 underserved African American/Black women, children and families in Northern California.