Ms. Tanya Jacobs is a master’s student in the marriage and family therapy program at Touro University Worldwide who received her B.S. in criminal justice from North Carolina Central University. She is a traditional Master’s-level Minority Fellowship Program (MFP) Youth fellow with the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapists (AAMFT), and she currently manages the development of the Community Villages Projects, a project focused on supporting the reintegration into society of individuals and families after their involvement in the criminal justice system and providing resources for unstably housed communities.
Tanya was initially drawn to the MFP after having the opportunity to access some MFP resources and trainings. This piqued her interest in further understanding the SAMHSA MFP mission. After researching the fellowship, she was confident that participation in the MFP fellowship would enable her to realize her values and vision of becoming a marriage and family therapist.
Tanya shared that the MFP has enriched her academic and professional career by providing her with a plethora of resources that have expanded her worldview, thus allowing her to be more culturally sensitive. She also attributes the MFP with strengthening her leadership abilities within the community and academically, as well as broadening her knowledge of how to work with a widespread community. Tanya also shared, “MFP is helping me build a network with like-minded professionals as well as giving me insight into new adventures within the research as a marriage and family therapist.”
Upon completion of the MFP, Tanya plans to utilize her acquired skills and knowledge to develop her practice as a marriage and family therapist. She explained that she would like to “fulfill the advocacy role [for] individuals and families in minority communities to bridge the gap from recovery to resiliency, empowering individuals from being hopeless to having hope.” Tanya also intends to leverage her role as a marriage and family therapist by increasing awareness and access to mental health services in undeserved and underrepresented communities.
When asked if she had any advice for anyone thinking about applying to the MFP, Tanya said, “I encourage individuals that I know or have come in contact with to access the resources from the MFP program to further their knowledge within their desired practice.” Tanya lauded the in-depth support and resources the MFP offers fellows and remarked, “The MFP offers mentorship as well as supportive staff that is available with resources of all kinds. I have grown from the opportunity to network with other fellows globally and from the extensive training opportunities which benefit our profession.”