Meet A Volunteer: Jackie Wilson
Help us welcome Jackie Wilson, a new State Museum volunteer from Dalzell, SC! Jackie has several years of experience volunteering at art museums but, after moving to SC, she decided to focus more on history and she is looking forward to learning more about South Carolina. Having recently completed docent training, she is excited about the opportunity to share her knowledge with museum guests.
Before coming to South Carolina Jackie lived in New York City where she studied dance. She did not have time to visit all the museums in the city and it was only by chance a girlfriend of hers invited her to come along on a visit to a New York museum. That visit changed her entire perspective on museums. She was able to appreciate the artwork with all of the creativity being shown, and the patterns and colors. She found it extremely relaxing, and began to look at museums as places of quiet and peace. She said, that she “can find some tranquility in a museum”.
When she steps into the museum as a volunteer, there are a few things she always keeps in mind. First, be open to all types of personalities. Second, be accepting of limitations and disabilities. Jackie knows this first hand as she herself is disabled. Lastly, even if it is not a guest’s first visit, always treat it as though it is their first time. She also suggests being considerate of other people’s thoughts and ideas because you will always meet people with differing opinions.
While Jackie’s disability is not visible the challenges are very real. However, she does not let it stop her from pursuing what she wishes out of life. Being disabled kept her isolated for some time, it was volunteering at the museum that allowed her to get out into the world again. She wants to encourage anyone, even if they are disabled, to not be afraid to venture out and try volunteering! Being a volunteer is a very rewarding experience that allows you to develop life and social skills, meet new people and develop your personal knowledge.