From customer service to social service – Wilson Pipkin helps people live healthier lives

Posted by Christine Campbell on Tuesday, May 12, 2020 at 12:25 PM PDT

Wilson started the BA in Organizational leadership after a decade of experience in the food & beverage industry, managing and behind the bar at local favorites Coastal Kitchen and Woodlands Pizza and Public House – but also at venues as far-flung as the Ritz Carlton in the US Virgin Islands. Wilson has also been an exceptional volunteer, teaching literacy, and working to build health awareness and resilience in communities of color and the homeless, sex workers, and LGBTQ populations of Seattle.

While he was always ambitious, hardworking and a great teammate, the degree in Organizational Leadership gave him the professional skills to pursue a new career that fits his values: he is now the Administrative Specialist for the Seattle TGA HIV Planning Council at King County, a position that seemed out of reach before.

Looking back on his journey, Wilson says:

“I have the piece of paper, the degree, that marks me as valid for being able to work for people. But really, the process of getting the degree has the most meaning for me. I learned a lot of skills and it gave me a lot of time to reflect on myself. Now I can tell my story in a way that is relatable to other people --so that they feel like they are not alone, they are heard and they are seen. And I’m really excited to use that skill to raise people up as much as I can because I was not able to get where I am now on my own. A lot of my own personal hard work went into it, but there was a lot of support and love that went into making this possible that was not my own. So, I am very excited to turn around and do that for as many people in my community as I can.”