From the time she was in high school, Wanda Meade knew that she wanted to be a counselor and work with teenagers. Wanda completed her undergraduate work in psychology and her Masters Degree in School Counseling at East Carolina University in Greenville, NC. Her life in public education began in 1972 as a school counselor in a large junior high school in Upstate South Carolina. Wanda spent most of her career as a school counselor, but also served as an assistant principal, curriculum specialist and teacher. While she worked primarily in traditional school settings, Wanda also counseled high-risk middle and high school students in a public alternative school – work that she still considers some of the best she’s ever done.
In 1998, Wanda became a Licensed Professional Counselor in South Carolina. During that time, she trained with the American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children (APSAC) as a forensic interviewer of teens when sexual assault was alleged, and for several years worked as a consultant interviewing teens. Following a long career in public schools, Wanda worked for 10 years as a visiting instructor for Clemson University where she supervised school counseling graduate students who were completing their field work in schools.
While working in the public schools, Wanda offered traditional academic counseling programs and also developed a number of intervention programs, including in-school grief groups and group counseling for teen survivors of abuse. Later, she went on to train students, educators, counseling professionals, agency personnel, and the community about grief, case conceptualization processes, and peer mediation. Through these experiences, Wanda became an accomplished trainer and speaker.
In recent years, Wanda has once again embraced her passion for photography. The digital world opened up for her through classes as well as her work with professional photographer and photo coach, Brad Carper. These days, her photographic eye is drawn to images. “A mud hole or a broken lock is as likely to capture my attention as a sunset,” Wanda says. Several pieces of her work have been juried into Upstate South Carolina exhibits and in 2013 and 2014 she received a Metropolitan Arts Council grant for the Finding Voice project.
As founder and creator of Finding Voice, Wanda has found a wonderful opportunity to combine her education and experience as a counselor, trainer, and teacher with her love of photography. This project has become her passion and she hopes to raise the collective consciousness about sexual abuse and to call communities to action for prevention.
Wanda and her husband, Rex, reside in Upstate South Carolina – a place they have called home since 1972.