Today we’d like to introduce you to Bianca Wilson.
Bianca, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I was born and raised on the East Side of Detroit, MI. I can be described as the kid that my mother had to constantly keep an eye on because I was always active. Since childhood, I have always been strong-willed and independent. I had an opinion for everything. As a little girl, I knew I wanted to be something special when I grew up but it took me a long time to figure out what in particular that would entail. I attempted college but was not mature enough at the time and failed all my classes, literally. I remember my mother opened up my report card and I had a 0.00 GPA. My mother was furious. I worked temp jobs on and off for the next few years. During that time period, I felt empty when I showed to for work. I knew I wanted a more fulfilling and purposeful job. I decided to go back to school but this time, I decided it would be for something that I was passionate about. The key to my successful completion of college was… Motivation!
I knew I had a passion for art and had a family history of well-known educators in the community. I decided to start the Art Education program. I adored my art classes. Art gave me the opportunity to open up and express my true self. I wanted to share this feeling with future art students. During my student teaching experience, I was always drawn to the children that everyone referred to as “Bad” kids. They intrigued me and challenged me. I instantly connected with those children and realized they were mostly misunderstood. I wanted to get to know those children, spend more time with them, teach them skills. When I started working with those students, I noticed a drastic change in their behavior. I felt like I had a gift. At that moment, I knew I wanted to become a School Social Worker.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
As an entrepreneur and professional, I want to inspire all women to follow their dreams no matter what. My husband asked me if I wanted to stay home with our daughter when I had my first child. I told him that I worked really hard to earn my degree and wanted to continue to work on my career. My degree means everything to me. I fought for it literally. My mother was diagnosed with cancer a few weeks after I started grad school. I was so confused at that time. I asked myself, “Should I put a pause on school”. I did not know if I were mentally able to get through this chapter in my life. I ended up staying in school full time while also acting as a full-time caregiver for my mother. I will never forget going to daily chemo and radiation appointments with my bookbag and laptop, crying while trying to push through writing 20-page papers. I wanted to scream while trying to study and remember terms when my mind was so cloudy. But for two years through her battle, I pushed through!! And the last year of school surprisingly becoming with child but I still rose to the occasion.
Now I had my unborn child to take care of and my mom. But I continued to rise. I graduated with honors and delivered a baby girl. My mother passed away while my daughter was three months old. My mother taught me to never give up and to advocate for those that can not do so for themselves. My father recently passed away due to heart complications in December 2019. Again, my world had crashed. Less than six years later, I was burying yet another parent. As I wanted to crumble, I knew that I had 25 employees that depend upon me to pay bills and live. Once again, I found myself pushing through pain to ensure I helped others. I built this company with my parents in mind to advocate, provide quality care and persevere through anything. Being an entrepreneur is not easy but is attainable. I worked up to four jobs at a time to build and fund this company. I remember for years, I did not sleep and continued to be a dedicated mother and wife to my family. I dedicate my professional and entrepreneurial achievements to my mother and father.
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Umbrellex Behavioral Health Services, LLC – what should we know?
My greatest professional achievement was the startup of Umbrellex Behavioral Health Services, LLC. Umbrellex Behavioral Health Services is a behavioral health services company that is driven to promote mental health as a critical component of overall wellness. We offer an array of services from in home respite care, individual and family therapy, program development, specialized residential services and court-ordered treatment. We are committed to the wellness of individuals, their families, and the community through prevention, intervention, treatment, and education. I developed this company to focus on the quality of care and service to our consumers through compassion, acceptance, respect, empowerment and sincerity. As a clinical social worker, I have the opportunity to work with special populations such as individuals diagnosed with Autism, Intellectual Disabilities and Mental Health disorders.
Disabled individuals need more invested in their education, housing, job training, transportation, assistive technology, and independent-living facilities. Data from the CDC estimates that 500,000 teenagers with Autism Spectrum Disorder will age out of their school-based services and move into adulthood within the next decade. As adults, the need and desire for person-centered housing opportunities is growing exponentially. While individuals sit on waiting lists, I decided to expand additional programming to our services which can be referred to as Specialized Residential Programs for individuals with Autism. Umbrellex has been able to grow from one home to four homes within one year. With the start of 2 employees to currently 28 employees, Umbrellex is on the rise to deliver quality housing programs for individuals with autism.
Recent collaborations with Mott College, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and Flint Housing Commission include provider services to the Choice Neighborhood Initiative (CNI) recipients. CNI is making strides to transform neighborhoods in Flint in an effort toward social equity. Umbrellex’s role is to develop and implement a framework consisting of treatment plans and goals that focus on crisis planning and address the CNI recipient’s psychological barriers to relocate to uncharted neighborhoods.
I am an active Board Member for the Detroit Youth Choir. The Detroit Youth Choir is a singing group consisting of eight to 18-year-old metro Detroit students. The nonprofit organization strives to educate students on music, theater and dance. The Detroit Youth Choir recently won a finalist spot on America’s Got Talent. Additionally, I am an active board member for the Ways and Means foundation, a metro Detroit non- profit that supports funding for local nonprofits. My most recent accolades include being honored as a Michigan Chronicle 40 under 40 emerging leader class of 2019 and induction as a young professional in Oakland County’s 40 under 40 elite class of 2020. I received my Master’s degree in Social Work from Wayne State University with a concentration in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and a specialization in School Social Work in 2013.
Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
Determination. When I am determined to do something, I will not let up. It can be nerve wrecking for some at times but I do not stop until I meet my goals.
- Address: 13854 Lakeside Circle Ste 255
Sterling Heights, MI 48313
- Website: www.umbrellex.org
- Phone: 586-765-4342
- Email: email@example.com