PJM Employees Share Stories of Pioneers in Education, Independence

In observance of African American History Month, PJM employees volunteered to gather and share information about their personal heroes. Look for additional postings from more PJM employees throughout the month.

Chris Addo, engineer – Interconnection Analysis

Addo lists Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, a key motivational figure in ending colonialism in Africa and leading Ghana to fight for independence, among his personal heroes.

“Dr. Nkrumah’s leadership and perseverance was very inspirational to me,” Addo said. “His leadership inspired many in Ghana to fight for independence from British colonial rule, which led to Ghana being the first independent African country.”

Sheneen Wilson, paralegal – Office of General Counsel

“My grandmother, Marie Wilmore, may not have had a statue erected on her behalf or a biography written to eulogize her life in a textbook; but she was famous to me and to all of the individuals who were privileged to have known such a wonderful person,” Wilson said.

Wilson wrote the following summary about her grandmother:

Marie Wilmore was a matriarch who was very intelligent, insightful, quick-witted, God-fearing, and loved people. She embraced all people and tried to see them as “beautifully, created masterpieces.” As a child, my grandmother lived down South with her family and worked on the family farm. They worked very long, hard hours and wished to migrate to the North in order to receive better opportunities. Because the family members intended to migrate, they knew they had to get their educations because their aphorism was “with education you work your mind very hard, while preserving the vitality of your body.” My family intended for all of the females to attend college while the males continued to work the land. Although my grandmother did not go to college immediately, she had always instilled in me the importance of obtaining an education. Many times I would ask my grandmother about living in the times when Jim Crow was flourishing. She would discuss that era (briefly) with me; but, never let on to the negative events that may have impacted her life. She wanted me to have my own experiences and accept people for who they were and not what they look like. I believe that is one of the most valuable gifts that she gave me.

My grandmother migrated to the North, married and had three children. She acquired a cornucopia of experience in several jobs, but later became a nurse and worked for the City of Philadelphia. After retiring from the City of Philadelphia, she later attended the Palmer Theological Seminary and became an ordained minister.

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