Who I Am...
a San Francisco native, born to the parents of Dr. and Mrs. Arelious Walker with two older and two younger siblings positioning me in the middle of my brother and sisters. I was an honor student in the San Francisco Unified School system who loved to read and talk. I also enjoyed pushing buttons, not to make people angry, but the type of buttons on vintage cash registers or the keys of a piano, which is why I did so well in my high school typing class where I learned to type on a manual typewriter.
Though I did not have to work, I always liked the idea of having my own money. My very first job at the age of 16 was as a clerk for a neighborhood mom and pop store that many of the residents referred to as the “record shop”. Based on my grades and eligible graduating credits I was eligible for a pilot program that allowed me to attend school four hours per day and work four hours per day at employers that my high school pre-selected. After high school, I attended Heald’s Business College to pursue a degree as a legal secretary but decided to quit when I was hired by a government agency as a secretary, primarily because of my ability to type so well.
After six months or so, I transferred to the newly created word processing department where I was able to incorporate my typing skills, eventually maxing out at 85-90 wpm (words per minute). My typing skills and warm personally created several employment opportunities over the years not just in word processing, but project management and an insurance broker. My most notable work was with a nonprofit organization in which I created a truck driving program designed to target underserved individuals of the Southeast Sector of San Francisco (Bayview Hunter’s Point). I started as a part-time vocational counselor responsible for outreach, developing a screening process, case management, and developing employer relationships with the goal of hiring program graduates. Because of my commitment and success to the participants, I was promoted three times in one year (i.e., Program Coordinator, Manager and Director). As the Director: I supervised a staff of 11, served as a community liaison, managed a budget of $450,000 annually, developed funder relationships, assisted with fundraising efforts through grants and donations, maintained a 95% completion rate, 80% placement rate, and an 80% retention rate. My work helped hundreds of people change their lives by assisting them with obtaining the tools to earn a living wage to provide for their families, reduced recidivism and become productive members of society. My work resulted in receiving the prestigious National Jefferson Award and a nominee to the Biltmore Who’s Who.
I currently serve as a consultant for churches and small businesses, assisting them with project management, assessment, creating structure, policies, procedures and ensuring the organization’s vision materializes.
I am a published author (The Fire Didn’t Burn Us) a widow, daughter, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, sister and friend with a passion to help individuals (primarily women and youth) live life on purpose, in purpose, for purpose.