KATHY MILLER WILSON
FOUNDER, PRESIDENT & EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Kathy Miller Wilson is the Founder & CEO of Workplace Etiquette Leadership Academy (WELA) where she is a Career Coach and Leadership & Team building Coach and Consultant. Kathy has over 20 years of management & leadership experience. As a Hiring Official, Kathy led and/or participated on multiple recruitment panels, and built strong, award winning, emotionally intelligent, high performing teams. Kathy studied and taught Leadership for the past 20 years and has groomed and advanced multiple leaders.
As a John C. Maxwell Certified Trainer, Teacher, Coach and Speaker,
Kathy can aid you and your team in your personal and professional growth through the use of John’s proven leadership methods and materials.
HOW TAGGED GOT STARTED
I am passionate about the lives of children in foster care because I was one of them. I was fortunate however, to have united with, and adopted by the most loving and caring parents imaginable. Having spent many years in foster care myself, I have always wanted to give back to the system and help to fill in the gaps with recourses for the underserved in some way.
My husband Norm and I became Foster parents in 2016. I’ve nicknamed us “The Heart & the Heavy”. I love them up and help build their character & belief in themselves, and Norm dispenses the discipline and teaches the boys how to be gentlemen and to respect themselves and others. We both help with homework and in very short periods of time have seen vast improvements in their academic abilities.
To date we have parented 13 children ranging from ages 3 – 17. Although they were of diverse ages and racial/ethnic backgrounds, they all had one thing in common… they wanted out of the system, and to go back to their families. Most of them are in the system because an adult or legal guardian let them down. They each have their own often very tragic story.
For Christmas of 2016, we started a” feel good” effort called” Stuff A Stocking” to show children in Foster Care a little extra love during the season of giving! We sent out a request on social media and through email for people to join us by donating a Christmas stocking filled with all kinds of goodies. In 2016 we collected 88 Christmas stockings. In 2017, we collected 188 stuffed stockings. In 2018 we more than tripled the number of donations and collected 595 stocking. The number of donated stuffed Christmas stockings reached 749 in 2019. We were overwhelmed by the generosity of so many, friends, family and some strangers, who opened their hearts and supported this initiative. To date we’ve been able to collaborate with 13 local Foster Care organizations to donate the stockings to their annual Christmas parties for the children.
I offered to pick up from places/people who donated five or more stockings and set up pick up drop off/pick-up locations all across Northern VA, DC, MD, and DE. One Saturday I traveled to DE and loaded my trunk with donated Christmas Stocking from friends I hadn’t seen in 40 plus years. In route home to my residence in Fredericksburg VA, I made stops along the way in Columbia MD, Reston VA, and a local library here in Fredericksburg. By the time I reached my home, my trunk, and both the back and front seats were filled with Christmas Stockings. Local businesses like Perma Treat and Mary Kay got together and donated over 25 and 8 stuffed stockings respectively. Scout troops and local lodges vowed to start NOW, and throughout the year to make sure the numbers next year are greater. I remain overwhelmed and humbled by the response. The fact that so many want to support these children brings me to tears, and prompted me to start a non-profit to collect and help them year-round.
Combining my three loves (Children in Foster Care, WELA, and Thrift Stores) is my greatest passion!! I am building TAGGED to not only celebrate these children with parties for the most popular holidays, I also want to be their advocate for filling some of the gaps in funding and services. TAGGED will target the talented, ambitious and gifted youth in foster care, and seek to give them access to the tools and resources necessary for them to reach the highest levels of their talents, pursue their passions, realize their dreams and become the best version of themselves. The sad reality is that funding allocated to the Foster Care system is extremely limited and targeted to fix the broken and troubled who find themselves thrown into it. Those who are talented and gifted often fall through the cracks without support to overcome their circumstances and realize their dreams. I built TAGGED so that we can locate the next generation of doctors, lawyers, artists, teachers, and athletes who are currently buried in a system that doesn’t have the time, staff, or resources to advocate for them. I am their advocate!!