For the past 10 years, WilmU alumna Mone’t Jackson has been working in the Delaware community to help improve the lives of others. Her clients have been varied: individuals struggling with addiction; people with persistent mental health disorders; and families who have been impacted by domestic violence. In October, in recognition of her work over the past three years as a Division of Family Services (DFS) liaison at CHILD, Inc., Jackson won the Spirit of Advocacy Award presented by the Delaware Coalition against Domestic Violence during Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
A 2008 graduate of WilmU’s psychology program, Jackson collaborates with DFS workers investigating allegations of child abuse or neglect. If the maltreatment that DFS uncovers also involves intimate partner violence, Jackson stands ready to assist the adult victims of domestic violence with safety planning, finding psycho-educational support groups, and helping them file protection from abuse order petitions. She also provides to DFS staff domestic violence training about the impact domestic violence has on children.
According to the coalition, the Spirit of Advocacy Award is presented to advocates whose work with and on behalf of victims of domestic violence is infused with the core principles of empowerment advocacy. These principles include a deep sense of empathy for those who are abused, a willingness to challenge existing systems, a belief in the strength and enduring capacity of the human spirit, and a commitment to social change at both the individual and societal level.
Wilmington University offered Jackson more than an education. It also facilitated her career. “Many professors inspired me to do the work that I do today,” she says. “My professors were caring and student-focused, and provided me with educational and professional options.”
While completing her degree, Jackson was working full-time, raising two children — and pregnant. “The university accommodates working students with course options and accessible advisors,” she says. “Without the options of night and weekend classes, I would not have been able to obtain my bachelor’s degree in psychology. Wilmington University paved the way for me to pursue a rewarding career.” Wu —Lori Sitler