Archive | May 2013

Tiyanna McFarlane is PurposefullyPretty!

Believe in yourself and have faith in your abilities”. It’s a quote that has stayed with me since I was a little girl. Growing up in an often times strict Carribbean household where my parents instilled the importance and value of education is what I credit much of my success to. Graduating from Queens College with my BA in Psychology in 3 years instead of 4 and upcoming (May 29th) obtaining my Masters degree in Social Work at the age of 24 from Hunter College, are milestones that I pride myself on. This year I took my educational and professional endeavors a step further and conducted research on the emotional, psychological and mental effects bullying has on children in the child welfare system. I wrote an article on my findings and my work and research were recognized by the National Resource Center for Permanency and Family Connections. They decided to publish my article on their website as a way to inform and educate individuals on the perils of bullying for children in the welfare system. Being a full time graduate student is great but I have a habit of wearing more than one “hat”. In addition to attending school I’m also a research and teaching assistant at Hunter College School of Social Work (Silberman School of social work) where I co-facilitate a graduate course about individuals with mental illness. Additionally, I’m currently interning at the Ackerman Institute. Ackerman Institute is a pretigious training Institute in NYC and every year they have only 6 coveted spots for the top NYC social work students who attend graduate social work programs in NY; I was one of them. This year has really helped me to grow as a child, couples and family therapist. Often times, family and friends will tell me “You’re stretching yourself way too thin!” Between being a full time grad student, interning and working two part time jobs (research/teaching assistant at Hunter and tutoring “Believe in yourself and have faith in your abilities”. It’s a quote that has stayed with me since I was a little girl. Growing up in an often times strict Carribbean household where my parents instilled the importance and value of education is what I credit much of my success to. Graduating from Queens College with my BA in Psychology in 3 years instead of 4 and upcoming (May 29th) obtaining my Masters degree in Social Work at the age of 24 from Hunter College, are milestones that I pride myself on. This year I took my educational and professional endeavors a step further and conducted research on the emotional, psychological and mental effects bullying has on children in the child welfare system. I wrote an article on my findings and my work and research were recognized by the National Resource Center for Permanency and Family Connections. They decided to publish my article on their website as a way to inform and educate individuals on the perils of bullying for children in the welfare system. Being a full time graduate student is great but I have a habit of wearing more than one “hat”. In addition to attending school I’m also a research and teaching assistant at Hunter College School of Social Work (Silberman School of social work) where I co-facilitate a graduate course about individuals with mental illness. Additionally, I’m currently interning at the Ackerman Institute. Ackerman Institute is a pretigious training Institute in NYC and every year they have only 6 coveted spots for the top NYC social work students who attend graduate social work programs in NY; I was one of them. This year has really helped me to grow as a child, couples and family therapist. Often times, family and friends will tell me “You’re stretching yourself way too thin!” Between being a full time grad student, interning and working two part time jobs (research/teaching assistant at Hunter and tutoring elementary students in reading and math) they often tell me I’m simply “doing too much”. But as cheesy and cliche as it may sound I am a firm believer in, Nothing is impossible as long as you put your mind to it. This year I’ve been blessed to fulfill one of my passions in working with young teen girls when I partnered with PurposefullyPretty as the Outreach Coordinator. Having this position within this great organization has allowed me the opporunity to work one on one with a group of talented and dynamic woman all while making a difference in the lives of young girls. I am extremly close with my younger 13 year old sister and take pride in knowing that she looks up to me and watches my every move. It gives me a reason to always stay on my p’s and q’s 🙂

Where do I see myself in 5 years? A Licensed Social Worker doing counseling for the adolescent/youth population and their families and also founding a non for profit called ButterFly Inc. for young girls who have been bullied. Why am I PurposeFullyPretty? Because I understand that its not only what you are able to present on the outside that makes you beautiful but the qualities you posses on the inside that drive you and motivate you to always put your best foot forward, that really make you who you are. I understand that your’re not always going to get it right and no one is perfect but at the end of the day, as long as you can say, I tried, that’s all that really matters.