Gwen was born in a steel-mill industrial town in southwestern Ohio. She was born to a teenage mother and a machinist father, both first-generation high school graduates. After losing her father at age 10, Gwen helped her mother run a small farm, raising horses, chickens, cows, pigs, and a small garden to make ends meet.
She excelled in the public schools in the nearby college town and aspired to become a first-generation college graduate. Those plans were put on hold when her scholarship funding ran out after two years of college and she had no financial resources or support systems to help her continue her education.
At this time, Gwen decided to follow in both of her grandfathers’ military footsteps. She served in the United States Air Force Special Operations Command at Kadena Air Base in Okinawa, Japan as a communication and navigation systems journeyman. She received the Air Force Achievement Medal for meritorious service during her deployment to Thailand.
Gwen achieved her dream of becoming a first-generation college graduate while on active duty, earning 2 associates degrees. She also became a military spouse and a mother before earning her bachelor's degree in English overseas. When the Air Force brought her to her adopted home state of Arkansas, she earned a masters degree in gifted education from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.
Gwen chose to continue her service to her country by becoming a teacher in Arkansas’s public schools. In her career as an educator, she has taught kindergarten through 11th grade in rural, suburban, and urban communities. Gwen continues to serve the students of Little Rock as a teacher in the Little Rock School district.
After the 2016 election, Gwen organized her first political event. As lead organizer of The Women’s March in Little Rock Gwen worked with women across the state and country to organize bring together over 7,000 participants in the state’s largest political protest. For the 2018 Women’s March, Gwen continued her organizational efforts to support the movement to get women running and voting in the midterm elections, all while running for national office herself.
Gwen believes that healthcare, education, and financial security are the rights of ALL people. She seeks to continue her history of service by serving in the U.S. House of Representatives for Arkansas’s 2nd Congressional District.