• IDRA Newsletter • February 2020 •

The IDRA Newsletter will continue to highlight our staff’s varied and diverse talents and backgrounds. Terrence Wilson, J.D., is IDRA’s regional policy and community engagement director, based in Atlanta. He comes to IDRA with a passion for serving young people, particularly through mentoring. Even as a teenager in high school, Terrence worked with younger students in middle school.

One of his fondest memories from his youth was talking with his elementary school “buddy” through a high school mentoring program and discussing issues of diversity using the Dr. Seuss Book, The Sneetches. While in college, he started a mentoring program college for African American third- through fifth-grade boys, lovingly called Boyz II Men.

Terrence found his calling when he began mentoring young people who had come into contact with the juvenile justice system. As a psychology major, Terrence volunteered as a research assistant and performed his honors thesis at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill to investigate what kind of mentor young people need to be successful. He also continues to mentor through his fraternity, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. These volunteer experiences led him to choose a career where he could improve our education system to help better the lives of youth before they become involved with the criminal justice system.

Terrence was born and raised in Richmond, Virginia, and attended UNC Chapel Hill as a Morehead-Cain Scholar. He then attended the University of Georgia where he received his law degree and a master’s degree in public administration. At IDRA, Terrence works to advance our policy priorities through research and policy advocacy. He supports this work throughout the U.S. South by building family and community leadership capacity through IDRA’s Education CAFE model.

One of his favorite hobbies is to travel and experience new cultures. He traveled to Dubai and Prague last year and has trips planned to Belize, the Dominican Republic, Colombia and Mexico in 2020. He has also traveled around Europe to Italy, Spain and France and spent summers in college conducting research in Trinidad and Tobago and the Dominican Republic.

Terrence loves everything outdoors, especially activities on the water, including fishing and kayaking. His favorite trip of all time included both of his loves, spending 28 days sea kayaking and fishing along the coast and islands of the Tongass National Forest in Southeast Alaska. He looks forward to continuing his travels and experiencing many more cultures across the world in his free time while expanding the possibilities for students through his work at IDRA.

[©2020, IDRA. This article originally appeared in the February 2020 IDRA Newsletter by the Intercultural Development Research Association. Permission to reproduce this article is granted provided the article is reprinted in its entirety and proper credit is given to IDRA and the author.]