Education and Parent Advocate
Wilhelmina Holder, the product of parents who modeled compassion and demanded excellence, found a natural fit as “Community Mom”. Wilhelmina, the eldest of six, grew up in the “heart” of the Central Ward attending Newark Public Schools: Cleveland Elementary, 18th Avenue Elementary, West Kinney Jr. High, and Weequahic High School. She recognized early on that one could not realistically opportune the lives of their own children without pouring into the lives of their peers, and now her six grandchildren.
Wilhelmina’s lifetime commitment to children and families led her to serve in leadership roles within the Newark Public Schools, Essex County PTA, the Secondary Parent Council (“SPC”), and several other organizations, providing SAT and ACT preparation, financial aid, and scholarship assistance, and college fairs and tours. To ensure the voices of Newark families were heard, Wilhelmina also served on New
Jersey State regulatory and policy boards: the Secondary Education Initiative for the Abbott Districts, Abbott Secondary Education Advisory Group, Secondary Work Group for Education Reform, New Jersey Environmental Council.
As a member of the Newark City Learning Collaborative, for which she is serving a second term as a Newark Civic Trustee, Wilhelmina advocated for Newark Public School students to have access to SAT preparation through Princeton Review at no cost, which the District currently offers to its sophomores and juniors. As a lifelong learner she also believes in the power of information and is the current editor of numerous publications including Perseverance Power, The Power of Parents, and A Mini-Guide to Colleges for the Special Needs Student among others. Wilhelmina’s commitment to children and families has been acknowledged through numerous awards and recognitions including, but not limited to the Rutgers-University Chancellor’s Award, Distinguished Seniors in the City of Newark, and the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Frontier Award from the NJ Dept. of Education.