Bridging the Gap Spotlight: Tamia Taylor

Tamia Taylor

Majors: Psychology and Childhood Studies
Minors: Criminal Justice and Gender Studies
High School: Atlantic County Institute of Technology (ACIT)
Hometown: Mays Landing

A Lifelong Passion

I have always had a passion for helping people. I noticed at an early age what it was like to have to figure out life on your own as a child, to live up to standards that are not your own, or face adversity at a young age. I also knew what it was like to go through that as a brown child. Thankfully, my resilience kept me on a track to a successful future. This is not the same for others.

Giving New Meaning to the Title “Youth Mentor”

I started mentoring youth at the age of 12. This is also when my grandma told me, “Be the person I needed growing up, for others.” I carry on that purpose to aid youth who have been lost in the systems that are supposed to be there to help them, especially youth of color who are disproportionately dismissed, ignored, and born into circumstances that may not give them a fighting chance in the first place. I want to change the narrative of justice for youth, especially youth of color. With that being said, I will be a forensic psychologist for the Juvenile Justice Commission (JJC), to reform rather than dismiss.

Lasting Connections

Working in the Office of Violence Prevention and Victim Assistance (VPVA) is among my most memorable experiences during my time at Rutgers–Camden. I will forever be grateful for all that I have learned, for the connections I have made, and those that I have helped as well as those who have helped me.

Shout-Out!

Shout-out to Prof. Kate Cairns! She is not only an amazing professor, but an amazing person. Thank you for giving us a space not only to learn, but to be heard as well.

All About the Journey

I learned that it is okay to ask for help, to put your mental health first, that it is okay to fail, and that it is okay to be proud of your successes. It’s all about the journey that makes the destination that much sweeter.

Getting Involved

As social media chair of the Psychology Club, I had a passion for getting the Rutgers community involved of all things psych – the good, the bad, and the ugly. The awareness of mental health is so important.

As a peer educator for the Office of Violence Prevention and Victim Assistance, I was dedicated to helping others, to having an open and honest conversation about our experiences and the acceptance of everyone.

As a member of Define American, I enjoyed participating in the amazing work for change, reform, and education, the involvement of justice and advocacy.

Golden Gram    

My role model is my grandmother, my best friend, Lois Hixson. Relax in paradise, Mama.

Words That I Live By

“Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful.” – Joshua J. Marine

“Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to get through this thing called life.” – Prince

My Advice to Others

Do what you have to do, so that you don’t have to scramble to get things done.

Jump Headfirst

I am proud of jumping into every opportunity offered to me headfirst. I pushed myself further than I thought I could go. When people said I couldn’t, I did. Lastly, I have been accepted into my first-choice doctorate program.

Finally There

What’s it feel like to graduate? It feels like a long time coming.

One Day at a Time

I’m not sure where I see myself in 10 years. I’ve stopped planning so far ahead. I take each day a day at a time and go where the wind takes me.

A Big Surprise

People might be surprised to know that I’m a big kid with a childlike energy, and I don’t like most fruits.

Made it All Possible

Bridging the Gap helped cover a good amount of costs that otherwise I may not have been able to. Thus, this day may not have been possible.

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