Path To Power
Raised in Miami, Wilson graduated from Fisk University in 1963 and started working as an elementary-school teacher. In 1980, she became principal of Skyway Elementary School, located in Miami Gardens.
Wilson was credited with substantially improving the school during the 12 years she worked there; in 1992, she was nominated for the state's Principal of the Year award. She focused on making college an objective and emphasized bilingualism, for instance talking to students in Spanish upon entering a classroom.
Wilson describes herself as a "liberal progressive" and emphasizes that her political priority is minorities and low-income people. "Everything I've ever done has been for poor people," she said in 2002.
In 2007, she introduced a bill that would have banned usage of the term "illegal alien" from official documents. "I personally find the word 'alien' offensive when applied to individuals," she said.