Photo of Erica Williams-Mosley courtesy of Erica Williams Mosley
BY ADIANNA ALSTON | AC JosepH Media
BRIDGETON — Through her varying roles within leadership paired with her strong commitment to serving others, Erica Williams-Mosley has strived to make long lasting and impactful changes within her community.
Williams-Mosely currently serves as an elected school board official in Bridgeton where she grew up as a child. She was born to teenage parents Denise Williams, who was 18 at the time, and James Dunkins, who was 19.
Williams-Mosley’s parents instilled in her the importance of education while she attended the Bridgeton Public Schools.
“My mom made sure I got good grades. My father was a teacher, a social worker, and then he ended up being the HR director for Bridgeton Public Schools before he retired. Education was always in my mind,” she said.
Williams-Mosley lived in Philadelphia for 10 years where she worked as a therapist before returning home to Bridgeton where her children were born. However, after reviewing the town’s curriculum in preparation to sending her children to school, Williams-Mosley felt that there was something lacking.
“When I looked up the curriculum and the level of education that the students were getting based on their test scores, I felt there was a need for someone who had the background in education, someone who had a background in mental health, someone who actually had children who would be attending the district to get involved,” she said.
“I felt I could be a resource to the district, so I ran for school board,” Williams-Mosley told Front Runner New Jersey.
Williams-Mosley certainly fits the above criteria as she has a solid background in both education and mental health. After graduating from Bridgeton High School, she attended Delaware State University where she initially majored in biology, however everything changed after she took a psychology class.
“It was everything I needed to figure out my childhood. Growing up with an 18-year-old mother, it was basically a child raising a child, so I kinda raised myself. But there were a lot of things that I didn’t know.”
“So, psychology it helped me fill those gaps and voids that I wasn’t aware of until I took the class. I switched my major from biology to psychology and then that’s when I became a therapist.”
After receiving her bachelor’s in psychology from DSU, Williams-Mosley earned her master’s in clinical psychology at Springfield College. She then traveled and lived in Prague, Czech Republic where she taught English as a second language at Trinity College. She now attends Walden University, pursuing her doctorate in educational psychology.
In her role as a school board member, Williams-Mosley hopes to alleviate the disparities between students within the classrooms.
“What I would like to see is everyone working together so that the children can maintain a level of proficiency,” she said.
Williams-Mosley describes instances wherein students who could read well were in the very same classrooms as others who could not read at all.
“I hope to close that gap in education so that we are moving forward and everyone is on the level or above the level that they are supposed to be on. Because I believe that they are behind and COVID did not help,” She continued.
Williams-Mosley intends to continue serving on the school board until necessary revisions are implemented.
“I think there needs to be some type of change on the school board,” she said. “We have had members that have been on the school board for many, many years. Some are set in their ways. They have an idea of what the education system should look like, however the system has changed, and with that I think the school district also needs to change.
“I plan to stay on the school board for as long as I can until we can solve the educational crisis of our children as far as literacy goes. I feel like I have to stay there. Right now, my purpose is to be on the Bridgeton School Board. I love what I do, I love the children, I love the parents, the community.”
Williams-Mosley is also a member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc. where her service in aid of the community continues.
“We do food drives, we provide food for homeless shelters, and we do clothing for the school districts in Bridgeton,” she describes.
Her sorority is also involved in a “Adopt-A-School” program which is an initiative designed to provide assistance to schools in an effort to positively impact and enhance the educational experience of students.
“Our ‘Adopt-A-School’ is Quarter Mile Lane [Elementary School] currently. So, we provide them with resources that they need. During COVID we provided them with hand sanitizer, wipes, and tissue. Anything that they could use during that cold, flu period, we provided them and donated it,” she said.
“We provide and donate book bags for the students. We donate our time––we volunteer for Career Day, Read Across America, and any activities that they have during holidays, we’ll go and participate,” she reveals.
Williams-Mosley is an appointed member of the Cumberland County Library Commission which serves as another facet of her community involvement.
“We did a Mental Health Awareness Day at the Bridgeton High School track. We invited different mental health agencies as well as health agencies like Inspira and Complete Care to come and discuss with people in the community about mental health awareness.”
Williams-Mosley often finds herself juggling multiple roles at once.
“I was involved in two parts because my sorority provided water, bananas, and apples for people who were exercising around the track and then I’m on the board for Cumberland County Library where we put together the event. So, I’m running around the field wearing both hats.”
Williams-Mosley is honored to be seen as a positive role model by the youth.
“It gives me a sense of satisfaction because making an impact and giving back is what I’m designed to do. That’s what everyone who is in their community should do.”
Williams-Mosley urges people to get involved in their communities and to stay aware of everything going on.
“If there are projects going on in the community, have your children participate because we design these things to promote self-proficiency and provide resources, however if nobody shows up then we lose the money to have these activities for the kids.”
Williams-Mosley does not take her position as a leader in her community lightly and she aims to continue to promote the importance of education and mental health.
“I think as community leaders it’s our job to support people in the community and it’s our job to make sure we are letting them know why we’re here.”
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