Belinda J. Wilkerson
Independent Educational Consultant | College Counselor
Steps To The Future, LLC | Montessori School of Raleigh (NC)
What drew you to the world of college admission counseling?
When I was in 8th grade, my school counselor told me “your people do not go to college.” I made it my purpose in life to help students see their possible selves, instead of being told what they could not do. I worked as a school counselor after teaching social studies for a number of years. Then, I had the opportunity after moving from Rhode Island to North Carolina to become an IEC.
What is your favorite part of the job?
Talking with my students and helping them see their strengths.
How has NACAC played a role in your career?
NACAC is an organization that provides resources and training to help me help my students. For instance, NACAC’s Journal of College Admission keeps me updated on trends and research. And the in-person and virtual college fairs are invaluable for researching colleges for my professional development and for the students.
What do you think is the biggest challenge facing our profession today?
The inequities in the college admission process is one of the biggest challenges. Increasingly, we are becoming more of a have and have-not society. This ranges from the cost of attendance to college advising to the specific challenge of diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging.
When you aren’t working, what do you like to do?
I love to read, strength train with my trainer, spend time with my two Rottweilers and two cats, and travel when possible. Additionally, I’m a member of the Life’s A Trip Adventure Club where we hike and travel together. I also volunteer with the TRIO program at Fayetteville State University (go Broncos!), serve on the board for the Friends of the Cumberland County Public Library, and I love to take naps daily.
What five words would you use to describe yourself?
Introvert. Responsible. Book-lover. Overthinker. Ally.
Published Oct. 9, 2023