Students from all over the world have recognized the outstanding training and excellent value of our program. We have attracted students from 39 US states as well as students from Belize, Brazil, China, Russia, Tunisia, and Bulgaria. 

states students originated from


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Ivory Coast

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Pre-Clincially Active

thumbnail_amiyah-bonnell.jpg Amiyah Bonnell

Hi! My name is Amiyah Bonnell. As a child my family moved a lot, so I grew up all around the north Florida and south Georgia area. Growing up around here sparked my love for the outdoors. My favorite thing to do in my “free time” is to spring hop around to different springs in Florida. I graduated from Valdosta State with my B.S. in Psychology in May of 2023. I was immediately drawn to the MFT program because of the program’s outlook on mental health. I am so excited for the journey ahead of me; I do not know what the future holds, but I know it is going to be good! 

thumbnail_rolanda-carter.jpg Rolanda Carter

Greetings! I am Rolanda Carter, native of Valdosta, Go Cats and Go Dawgs! I received my bachelor’s from Georgia Southwestern State University in Americus, Georgia, In July 2017 in Sociology. To then work in child welfare for the next five years. I’ve always had a passion for families and mental health, and it has directed me to MFT. My overall goal is to graduate, obtain licensure to have my own practice. But until then, I’ll continue servicing the community in any way possible. 

 ashley-figueroa.jpeg Ashley Figueroa

Hi! My name is Ashley Figueroa and I am from Broward County Florida. I graduated from Florida State University with my Bachelor’s degree in Human Development and Family Sciences with a double minor in Education and Psychology just last yearBack at FSU, I was involved in the Hispanic Honor Society and the Family and Child Science club. While being apart of the Family and Child Science club, I was introduced to the field of Marriage and Family Therapy. During my time at FSU, I was heavily involved in a non-profit called, Hang Tough. This organization helped families who have a child or children who suffer from a pediatric illness and/or disorder. Each month, Hang Tough provides a support group facilitated by an MFT for these parents. This is where I discovered my passion for wanting to help those who need/want the help. I am excited to start my new journey here at Valdosta State University and learn from the Marriage and Family Therapy program!

 thumbnail_katia-galvan.jpg Katia Galvan

Hello, my name is Katia Galvan, I am from Cottonwood, California and received my Bachelor of Science in Psychology from California State University, Chico. During my undergrad, I realized my immense love of helping others and thus my college professors pointed me in the direction of marriage and family therapy. I deeply desired a program that valued diversity and encouraged creativity in their therapeutic teachings, and within my search, I came across VSU's MFT program. I very quickly fell in love after I spoke with faculty and learned of the great work FamilyWorks does throughout the community. 

I plan to open my own practice, and through my work, I hope to help couples with their intimacy and sex related issues. Sex remains a sensitive topic to many individals; simply discussing it may bring up feelings of vulnerability, shame, and guilt during intimate discussions. My area of interest involves the intersections of healthy sexuality and open sexual communication. It is my goal to say one day that I left a lasting positive impact on the world and those I help along my journey.

I can't wait to learn and grow in these next 2 years. I truly feel honored to be apart of the MFT program here at VSU.

thumbnail_addalyn-gilliard.jpg Addalyn Gilliard 

Hi all! My name is Addalyn Gilliard, but most people know me as Addie, and I am a member of the 2025 Graduating Class of Marriage and Family Therapy program here at Valdosta State University. I was born and raised in Douglas, Ga where I received my associates in psychology & criminal justice. I graduated with my Bachelor of Science at VSU in the Fall of 2022 and have been stuck to psychology ever since. I initially pursued a degree in Psychology to be able to give a voice to those who feel as if they cannot be heard. From a young age I knew that one day I wanted to one day be able to lend a helping hand and open heart to those in need of one and what better way to do so than being apart of the MFT program here at VSU. With day-to-day hands-on experience and a student run clinic, I know that I have found what my helping heart has been longing for. After graduating from this program, I hope to be a strong advocate for mental health and having a part in making a difference!  

 thumbnail_leah-harrison.jpg Leah Harrison

Hi! My name is Leah Harrison. I am from Rome, Georgia. I graduated from Valdosta State University in 2021 with a B.S in nursing and a minor in Spanish. I’ve spent the last two years working as a registered nurse. As much as I enjoy being a nurse, I can’t help but think that it’s time to serve the community in a different capacity. I chose the MFT program at VSU because of their commitment to diverse thinking and hands-on training. The program also caught my attention because the FamilyWorks clinic is solely run by students in the program. I’m passionate about making a positive impact on as many lives as I can. I am excited to see what the future holds. Oh, and how could I forget…GO BLAZERS! 

 thumbnail_briley-kearne.jpg Briley Hearne

Hello! My name is Briley Hearne, and I am from Tallahassee, Florida. I graduated from the University of West Florida in Pensacola, FL with my B.A. in Psychology in May 2023. Due to my experience within my own family, I feel as though becoming an LMFT has been my calling since I was a little girl. I cannot wait to see what the future holds! I dream of one day owning my own practice, in which everyone is welcome, regardless of age, gender, ethnicity or socioeconomic background. I am so excited to learn and grow within VSU’s MFT program!

thumbnail_tyena-hutton.jpg Tyena Hutton

My name is Tyena’ Hutton and I am from Hampton, Georgia. I am a recent graduate from Valdosta State University, and received a BA in Psychology with a Spanish minor. I am excited to be in the Marriage and Family therapy program this year! In the years to come I hope to learn, and make an impact on both myself and others in the field one day!

jarion-jolly.jpg Jarion Jolly

Hello everyone, my name is Jarion. I am from Macon, Georgia. I graduated in December 2022 with a B.S. in psychology from Middle Georgia State University. It has always been a passion of mine to help others and provide them with support during the obstacles we face in this thing called life. During my undergraduate journey I developed a new love for therapy. I know that in many black communities there is a lack of knowledge on the importance of therapy, especially within families. I believe it is my obligation to gain more knowledge and spread awareness of the benefits of seeking therapeutic support. I am so honored to be a part of the Marriage and Family Therapy Program at VSU. I love the hands-on experience provided and emphasis on cultural acceptance and competence. Upon becoming licensed I would love to one day be able provide affordable and available services to those in lower income areas. 

thumbnail_ariah-jones.jpg Ariah Jones

My name is Ariah Jones, hailing from the city of Cleveland, Ohio. My journey began at The University of Toledo, where I not only pursued my education but also joined the esteemed sisterhood of Alpha Kappa Alpha, Sorority Incorporated. Upon graduating, I dedicated a significant portion of my time to the field of early childhood development. I served as an Assistant Director for four years at EduCare Preschool. It was here that I discovered my passion for making a positive impact on children's lives by becoming their advocate when they couldn't advocate for themselves. Later, my journey led me to Atlanta, Georgia, where I discovered my love for Marriage and Family Therapy. My goal is to be the catalyst for change, working to create the better world I envision by supporting and guiding individuals and families through their challenges and triumphs. I can't wait to embark on this fulfilling journey of transformation and healing. 

thumbnail_ayanna-lowe.jpg Ayanna Lowe

 Hey, my name is Ayanna Lowe. I graduated from Georgia Southern University in 2021 with a B.S. in psychology. I originally was pursuing a bachelor’s in rehabilitation science and my goal was to become a physical therapist. However, after taking a psychology course freshman year, I noticed that I was more interested in mental health and the well being of others. At the end of the semester, I quickly changed my major. Upon graduating I was not quite sure what field of psychology I wanted to continue my education in. There were a variety of options to choose from but, I knew I wanted to be able to help people navigate challenges within relationships. After countless hours of googling, I came across marriage and family therapy and VSU. I set my sights on VSU because I believe their MFT program is the perfect fit for helping me build my skills as a therapist and have the ability to give back to those within my community.

thumbnail_nia-luke.jpg Nia Luke

My name is Nia Luke. I was born and raised in Decatur, Ga. After completing my first two years of undergrad here and VSU, I transferred to Georgia State University and earned my bachelor's degree in Sociology with a minor in Women’s Gender and Sexuality. I began my college career as a biology major, pre-veterinary. It was not until I took an intro sociology course that my way of thinking about the world changed, and my passion was rediscovered. I am passionate about understanding people and the relationships we have with one another and helping people understand each other. I fell in love with this program’s values and care surrounding mental health and families. I believe that through the many lessons and experiences I gain here, I will be able to help families of all shapes and sizes.  

thumbnail_emily-michael.jpg Emily Michael

Hello! My name is Emily Michael, I received my Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Valdosta State University in May 2023. I am from the McDonough area of Georgia but have resided in Valdosta for over three years now. I still have no sense of direction when it comes to getting somewhere although, I do love helping others find their direction. While going through undergraduate I fell in love with Psychology and then even more in love with helping individuals through tricky situations. Everyone has a voice and deserves to be seen and heard, which is the reason I chose this career. Marriage and family therapy encompasses sources outside oneself and focuses on helping rather than diagnosing, which also made it clearer to me that this is the career path. I am excited to continue learning more throughout VSU’s MFT program and getting the opportunity to meet new people! 

2vsu7026-daijah-miller.jpg Daijah Miller

Hello! My name is Daijah Miller. I was born in South Georgia but raised in Central Florida. I graduated from Valdosta State University with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and a minor in Criminal Justice in May of 2023. In my last semester of undergrad, I had the chance to intern with the Marriage and Family Therapy program. During the internship, I had the opportunity to observe and watch practicum sessions. After watching the sessions, I fell in love with the program and the people here. I look forward to starting my journey at Family Works and seeing what the future holds for me here.  

thumbnail_janell-mills.jpg Janell Mills

Hello, my name is Janell Mills. I grew up in a small town named Americus, Georgia. I received my Bachelor of Science degree in Biology with a minor in Psychology from Valdosta State University. During undergrad I enjoyed participating in campus organizations like Firepit and Black Student League. After graduating, I made the choice to further pursue Psychology because helping others has always been a passion of mine, and I see therapy as an important tool for doing that. I found out about Marriage and Family Therapy while looking into pursuing the psychology field as a whole, and my interest was sparked immediately. I look forward to gaining knowledge and experience that will help me help others.   

thumbnail_africa-pippin.jpg Africa Pippin

Hi everyone! My name is Africa Pippin. I was born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. My family and I moved to Suwanee, Georgia three years ago. In May of 2023, I graduated from Bowie State University. I received my Bachelors degree in Psychology with a minor in Sociology. I've always valued the foundation of both family and marriage. God blessed me to be able to grow up in an extremely healthy family and environment. I was surrounded by two parents who loved each other and loved me passionately. I was also able to witness two Black individuals come together and display what a strong and healthy marriage looked like. I humbly believe that I am the Woman I am today, due to what I saw, heard, and felt. This led me to realize that family shapes an individual's whole identity and the way they exist in the world. Being a witness to both of these foundations in a healthy manner, furthers my interest in Marriage and Family Therapy. Since I know how much of an impact these two foundations can have on a person, I desire to help those that were not as fortunate. I accept as true, that everyone deserves to have a chance to create or repair their marriages and families. I yearn to become more and more educated in this specific field while I am here at VSU. After graduating, I will get my Psy.D in Marriage and Family Therapy. My ultimate goal is to have my own private practice where I focus heavily on the Black family; as it needs so much catering to. I know that the program at VSU will give me the perfect start. I know the journey ahead of me is long, but I am ready and excited for it.

thumbnail_griffin-reddick.jpg Griffin Reddick

Hi! My name is Griffin Reddick, and I am from Pine Mountain, Georgia. I graduated from Georgia Southern University in July 2023 with a BS in Psychology. During undergrad, I fell in love with psychology and conducting research within the field. I was unsure of what career I wanted to pursue, but after some exploring, I stumbled upon MFT. MFT piqued my interest because of the focus on relationships between people rather than just the individual. VSU’s MFT program stood out to me because of the abundant hands-on experience and experiential learning built into the program. I am interested in working with both active-duty and retired military as well as their families. I am looking forward to seeing where this program takes me! 

telai-shaper.jpg Telai Sharpe

Hi, there! My name is Telai. I am from Vidalia, Georgia and raised in Rome, Ga. I earned a B.S in psychology from Kennesaw State University. While an undergraduate student, I mentored children and assisted families in underrepresented communities through a non-profit organization. Serving families and individuals inspired me to pursue a career that not only focuses on mental health, but the importance of relationships that we have with others and ourselves. I have a strong passion for working with people, and I find it rewarding to listen to and serve individuals from all walks of life! I aspire to make a positive impact in Georgia’s communities and across the country. My goal is to establish a private practice as a licensed MFT and travel to various institutions to raise awareness on important topics in the mental health field.

thumbnail_daniel-weaver.jpg Daniel Weaver 

Hey, my name is Daniel Weaver. I am a born and raised local of Valdosta, Georgia. I graduated from Valdosta State University in 2022 with a Bachelor’s in Political Science. I had plans to become a lawyer, but I wanted to help people grow on a deeper level, and saw therapy as an avenue to achieve my dream. My dream is to open my own private practice and provide services to everyone with a special desire to help grow marriages and families. I enjoy learning about how things function. I am a technology and car enthusiast and enjoy spending time with loved ones. My personal goal in the MFT program is to listen to those who need it and impact lives to those around me. I believe this MFT program will equip me to be the best therapist for the future. 

thumbnail_kennise-wilcox.jpg Kennise Wilcox

Hi! My name is Kennise and I’m from Tifton, Georgia. I graduated from Valdosta State with a B.S in psychology and a minor in sociology. I’m excited to see what this program holds and how it shapes me into the best therapist I can be!  

thumbnail_maleeka-williams.jpg Maleeka Williams

Hello, my name is Maleeka Williams, and I am from the Caribbean Island of Trinidad and Tobago. I graduated from Angelo State University in Texas, where I obtained a Bachelor of Science in Psychology with a minor in English. After relocating to New York City, I worked as both a residential aid for adults diagnosed with mental illnesses and a case manager in the New York City family shelter system. Through this work, along with my degree, I further developed my goal to assist families who may be faced with different socioeconomic, psychological, physical, and emotional challenges. Working with those displaced in society gives me a profound sense of responsibility. This hands-on experience acquired has led me to Valdosta’s MFT program as it not only practices and encourages clinical experiences and application but values diversity and inclusion. I believe this program will give me the tools needed to make a greater impact in Marriage and Family Therapy. 

thumbnail_tashariya-wilson.jpg Tashariya Wilson

Hey yall! My name is Tashariya Wilson. I am a current first-year student in the MFT program here at Valdosta State University. I was born in Gainesville, Florida but moved to Houston, Texas at an early age. In Fall 2022, I graduated with my Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology at Prairie View A&M University (Prairie View, TX). Growing up with sickle cell, I was surrounded by nurses and doctors who always went the extra mile for me. They made me feel comfortable in my own skin and supported me through everything. I knew early on I wanted to be in a profession where I could make a difference and be there for someone in need, the way they were there for me. From the environment to the faculty, VSU MFT program felt like the perfect fit for me to do this. I am thrilled for this new journey, and I look forward to expanding my knowledge and skill set over the next 2 years. 

Clinically Active

thumbnail_christina-aresty.jpg Christina Aresty

Hello everyone! My name is Christina Aresty. I graduated from the University of Central Florida in 2019 with a B.S. in Exceptional Student Education. I went on to become a teacher for students with exceptionalities, primarily teaching children with autism. As I worked with these children and their families for the following few years, I found myself wishing that I could provide support beyond what the academic setting was able to offer. Because I have been interested in therapy since taking psychology classes in my undergraduate program, I decided to dive into reading on the various therapy programs out there and what each had to offer. When I found the Marriage and Family Therapy program at VSU, I knew I had found the right place for me. I love that this program is so committed to diversity and inclusion, as I believe that this is essential in a therapeutic setting. Additionally, I am happy with this aspect because I hope to one day combine therapy with my experience in special education by providing therapy services to clients with exceptionalities. I am looking forward to getting hands-on clinical training and experience in the FamilyWorks Clinic as I work toward my goal of becoming an MFT.  

kourtney-lexie-beady.jpeg Lexie Beady

Hi! My name is Lexie Beady. I am from a small town in Franklin County Georgia. I graduated from the University of North Georgia in Dahlonega. After undergrad, I had plans to attend medical school. It was while studying and preparing for the MCAT that I also took a job in mental health counseling and behavioral therapy. After doing so, I realized that my aspirations were more about being of service to women and children, providing the necessary tools for success for others, and a holistic healing style. I hope to continue to grow in the VSU MFT program and apply what I have learned throughout my career, helping those who may not be aware of all their options. 

thumbnail_brandon-booker.jpg Brandon Booker

Hey! My name is Brandon Booker. I was born and raised right here in Valdosta, Ga where I attended undergrad at VSU and earned a BA degree in Sociology and Anthropology with a minor in Women and Gender Studies. I have always known that I wanted to be someone who helps others, so I thought counseling would be a great fit for me. I remember at the end of middle school; I was given the opportunity to research careers that I was interested in. One of those fields was counseling; however, I didn’t know what kind of counselor I wanted to be. So, I researched the field of mental health more and discovered marriage and family therapy (MFT). I instantly realized this was the career that I was destined to be in. I was even more satisfied to discover that my local university offered a grad program. I am extremely thrilled to be a part of the graduating class of 2025 in this MFT program. I often thought that my dream of becoming an MFT student was just that, a dream, but through hard work and dedication I have made my dream a reality!  I hope that throughout my journey at VSU, I will be able to work with clients of diverse backgrounds and grow not only as a future therapist but as a person as well. 

darshi-bosamia.jpg Darshi Bosamia

Hello, my name is Darshi! I am originally from New York, raised in Indiana, and have settled down in Florida. I am pursuing Marriage & Family Therapy because the most fulfilling aspect of my life has been to make genuine connections with people, to be of service, and help others create a life they love through their relationship with themself and others. 

In 2013, I earned my bachelor's degree in Communication Sciences & Disorders and went on to work as a Speech Language Pathology Assistant (SLPA) and Developmental Therapist, focusing on Communication (DTC) for 5 years at a pediatric private practice in Indianapolis. I quickly learned that my hidden superpower in working as an SLPA and DTC was providing parents with a listening ear, coaching, and emotional support. It has been an honor to connect with families of varied structure, socioeconomic status, ethnicity, religion, and culture. Each interaction has enriched my life and made my world a little bigger. My relationship with the families taught me that people do not need to be fixed, they need to be supported. 

Clinical and corporate work experience, honest therapy sessions, and my overall journey enable me to pursue Marriage & Family Therapy with more clarity and confidence than ever before. This program’s strong emphasis on diversity and developing competency in understanding race, privilege, gender identity, socioeconomic status, and sexual orientation is important to me. I look forward to expanding my understanding in these areas because I want my clients from any walk of life to feel seen, heard, understood, and empowered.  

I feel honored to be here at VSU and look forward to meeting + learning from future clients!

thumbnail_sydnie-bulluck.jpg Sydnie Bulluck

Hello, my name is Sydnie Bulluck. I was born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia. I graduated undergrad, right here, on the campus of Valdosta State University with a B.S. in Health Science in May 2022. During my time here at VSU, I have made my mark by being a part of the Black Student League and being a Spring 2022 initiate of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated. Initially, I  had plans to pursue a career in Veterinary Medicine, but as I moved further along in my major I discovered my true passion for being a advocate for people who felt they could not be heard. Mental health has always been important as I have had my own personal experiences with it myself, so I wondered what could I do to further pursue my new career choice. I  did my research and found that the MFT program here at VSU was the right fit for me. With hands on experience and a student run clinic, I was assured that we as students can really make a change. I am excited to be here and have no doubt that the MFT program here, at VSU, will not only help me make a difference but to be the difference. 

 aron-francis.jpg Aaron Francis

Hey everyone, my name is Aaron Francis. I was born in New York then relocated to Georgia. I completed my Bachelor’s in Psychology here at Valdosta State. I served 5 years active duty in the Navy and now I am back at VSU for the MFT program. I am excited for the opportunity to further my education and learn for the wonderful staff here at Valdosta State University. After serving in the military, I realized the importance of mental health for my fellow sailors and took it upon myself to be in the position to help them from the other side. I plan on opening my own practice to help veterans and their families in the future. 

terri-funk.jpg Terri Funk

Hello. My name is Terri Funk. I graduated from the University of Tennessee at Martin in 1991 with a B.S. in home economics. Shortly after graduation, my husband and I moved to Tifton, GA to help with his family’s pizza restaurant. The restaurant is now 47 years old and belongs to my husband. I like to say that I married him for his garlic bread. It is that good! Since moving here, I have worked in the interior design field and the restaurant business. I chose to leave the workforce when I had children. I have homeschooled my three children since 2006, but now this has come to an end as my last child has graduated. Presently, my children are either out of college, in college, or considering college. While they believe that I taught them, the truth is that they taught me. I was challenged to always know a bit more than they knew. These three inquisitive, thought-provoking children/students shaped me into someone who enjoys learning. I especially enjoy hearing new ideas that have the potential to stretch me beyond my comfort zone. I have found that teenagers are quite qualified to do this. Becoming a marriage and family therapist is a goal I have had since the early 2000’s. I am thrilled to be a part of VSU’s MFT Program. As I sit in class and as I am working as a GA, I find myself saying quietly, "I can’t believe I am here. This is a good day."

janiya-gibson.jpg JaNiya Gibson

Greetings! I am JaNiya Gibson, a member of the Graduating Class of 2024 in Valdosta State University’s Marriage and Family Therapy Program. I was born and raised in Macon, Georgia. I received my Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Fisk University (Nashville, Tennessee) in May of 2022. While at Fisk University, I pursued psychology because I wanted to be challenged and learn more about the field. Throughout this time, I witnessed the passion I have for increasing awareness of mental health and advocating for populations which often lack an advocate or representation. I knew a Master’s in Marriage and Family Therapy would be suitable for my career goals as I desire to work with families and youth to make their lives meaningful and purposeful. I believe we all should be equipped with knowledge and guidance on how to seek out the life we desire to live. Through marriage and family therapy I can learn how to aid in that catalyzing process. Overall, I desire to see people live the life they want, to live in their purpose, and work towards contentment. Valdosta State University is the university which will allow me to explore these possibilities alongside clients and catapult me forward to accomplish my further career and educational goals.  

Nelson GNelson Graves

Hello, my name is Nelson Graves. I am a San Francisco Bay Area native and a graduate of Morehouse College. I love basketball and SciFi movies. I was an educator by trade and am a researcher at heart. I am grateful for my experiences as they have helped me better understand my passions, strengths, and potential. I’m excited to be part of VSU’s MFT program and the opportunity to further expand my knowledge base and skill set in order to provide quality mental health services for individuals, families, and couples. I am thoroughly impressed with VSU’s commitment to diversity, research, and hands-on training through the FamilyWorks Clinic. My ultimate goal is to one day have my own private practice and I believe the MFT program will equip me with the necessary skills to achieve this.

shermira-harris.jpg Sher'mira Harris

Hello, my name is Sher’mira Harris. I am from Douglasville, GA and graduated from VSU on May 2022 with a BS degree for Psychology. After being able to experience the MFT program from their internship I was immediately interested in starting this pathway. I had given a lot of thought into becoming a therapist but after being able to sit in on sessions and hear different ideas and perspectives, it gave me a better understanding of what I could be doing every day. I am a firm believer in whatever career you want to have in life, it should not feel like a chore to get up and go to. If you must spend most of your life doing something, why not do something you are passionate about. This is what I can see myself doing as a career because when I got to experience the sessions firsthand I had so much fun learning this innovative approach and I was genuinely curious about the clients I got to hear from. My long-term goal is to open my own practice after gaining more experience in this field and continuing to educate myself as I branch off. I cannot wait for this new journey to lead me, but I am so excited for it. 

sara-hathaway.jpg Sara Hathaway

 Hello! My name is Sara Hathaway. I’m from Ogden, Utah and graduated with a B.S. in psychology with a minor in Portuguese from Utah State University. My original career goal during my undergraduate degree was to become a clinical psychologist. But some time before it was time to start applying for graduate programs, I began to doubt that it was what I wanted to do. I started researching other options and found Industrial Organizational Psychology. This sounded and felt like a right fit so I decided to pursue a Master’s in I/O here at VSU. After beginning the program, I quickly felt like something was missing as I didn’t feel passionate about it. I didn’t feel that the type of career I could get from I/O would be as rewarding or fulfilling as another might be. Again, I began to explore my options and found Marriage and Family Therapy. I learned about some of the basic theories and approaches that MFT’s take with their clients and it resonated with me deeply. So, I decided to pursue a Master’s in MFT instead of I/O. I specifically appreciate the professors’ approaches to learning, the opportunity for hands-on experiences through the practicum, and the strong focus on diversity. I hope to own a private practice or treatment center with my husband one day. While I/O psychology wasn’t the right fit as a whole, I plan to still find a way to incorporate diversity, equity, and inclusion into my career. 

thumbnail_caroline-jones.jpg Caroline Jones

Hello! I am Caroline Jones, a member of the graduating class of 2025 in Valdosta State University’s Marriage and Family Therapy Program. I grew up in a small town called Franklin, Georgia. I traveled to South Georgia to attend and graduate from Valdosta State University with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology in May of 2023. Psychology became an area of interest for me at a young age, and as I began to navigate the college application process, I knew that it was an interest I wanted to explore further. Throughout my undergraduate experience, I connected with many concepts that aligned with the MFT program, and I’m excited to now be a member of such an outstanding program. I believe in the importance of self-growth and the understanding of one’s self, and I am committed to inspiring both in others. I am confident that my time in this program will allow me to reach my goal of being an effective and compassionate therapist to those who want or need therapeutic services. 

 gregihald-jones.jpg Greginald Jones

Bonjour! My name is Greginald Jones. I was born and raised in Baker County, Georgia. I obtained my bachelors from the Unsinkable Albany State University. During my time there, I pledged Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Incorporated.  After receiving my B.A in psychology in 2017, I worked various jobs in the workforce that serviced the community. I was just looking for anything that gave me a sense of purpose in life. I wanted to do more for the families in my community so I researched an MFT program. Valdosta’s MFT’s program stood out to me because the clinic was ran solely the students in the program. They provided hands on training and I liked that. My goal is to graduate and one day obtain my license so I can have my own practice. It is possible! I am possible! 

charles-king.jpgNOLAN KING

Hi, my name is Nolan King. I am from Thomasville, GA. After high school, I spent two years doing service work in several countries in South America. I developed a love of different cultures and people. After returning home, I studied history at Valdosta State. While at Valdosta State, I became fascinated with world religions, philosophies, and unique viewpoints. After graduating, I worked in my family's business for 10 years. During that time, I helped support my wife through undergraduate and graduate programs. We also homeschooled our 4 children. Although I was not in a formal academic setting during those years, I continued to explore new ideas in history, science, and religion from home. My wife is now a teacher at the school that my children attend, and I have the privilege of returning to college. I chose to pursue marriage and family therapy because I have found that the most fulfilling aspect of my life has been to make deep connections with people. 

thumbnail_marley-lentine-brown.jpg Marley Lentine-Brown

Hello! My name is Marley Lentine-Brown. I was born and raised in Decatur, Georgia. I pursued and received a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Georgia College & State University in 2023. I am now working toward a Master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy at Valdosta State University. In my training and my subsequent career, I want to reflect the ways I value and respect the construct of family. I am so excited to be a member of the FamilyWorks community

thumbnail_aamira-lomax.jpg Aamira Lomax

Hey there! I'm Aamira Lomax, originally from Bakersfield, California. I proudly earned my Bachelor's degree in Psychology from California State University, Dominguez Hills. Post-graduation, I found myself grappling with the question of what direction to take in the realm of health and mental well-being. The journey led me to discover the amazing holistic approach of MFT, which perfectly aligned with my aspirations. 

VSU became my top choice due to their exceptional faculty who aren't afraid to take a leap of faith with their students. They genuinely care, taking the time to connect with prospective students, addressing their queries, and understanding their unique needs. The "Meet Our Students" page convinced me further to join, and here I am! 

Anticipation bubbles within me for the boundless learning opportunities the VSU program promises and the incredible relationships I'll forge along the way. Looking ahead, I'm set on establishing my own private practice post-program, focusing on providing holistic care to women of color. Plus, there's the potential of pursuing a doctorate to fuel my growth even further. Cheers to the future and all it holds! 

 chika-nwosu.jpg Chika Nwosu

Hello, my name is Chika Nwosu. I was born and raised in Riverdale, Georgia to native Nigerian parents. I received my Bachelor’s in Psychology from Columbus State University. I continued my pursuit in mental health and discovered the Marriage and Family Therapy program at Valdosta State University. Instantly, I realized the style of therapy and the populations I wanted to serve was embedded in the Marriage and Family therapy program. I realized training as a marriage and family therapist fulfills my desire to work with women, children, and families. The marriage and family therapy program also fulfills my interest to understand family dynamics, intergenerational trauma, self-esteem issues, childhood mental health, and parent-child relationships. Due to my cultural upbringing as a Nigerian-American, I desire to work with immigrant families to address cultural barriers, cultural disparities, and encourage positive conversations in the family environment. My new aspiration is to become an effective marriage and family therapist and use the systems theory to invite others to consider a different perspective in their healing journey.  

thumbnail_gabrielle-perez.jpg GABRIELLE PEREZ

Hello! My name is Gabrielle Perez (I go by Gabbie). I am originally from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, although I’ve lived in Atlanta for the past 15 years. I received a BA in psychology from Emory University in 2009, and recently completed a master’s in humanistic and transpersonal psychology at the University of West Georgia in 2020. In the ten years or so between undergrad and my first master’s, although I knew I wanted to go into the field of counseling, I really grappled with how I could participate in the field in a way that felt both true and authentic to who I am as a person, and true to the values I hold dear in therapeutic relationships with clients. My first master’s was a theoretical/academic degree that did not lead to clinical licensure, however, it exposed me to ideas and perspectives in counseling that draw on human strengths, taking a positive and non-pathologizing approach to working with clients that deeply resonates with me. Several of my classmates mentioned Valdosta State’s Marriage and Family Therapy Program as one that shared many of the same therapeutic perspectives, so I decided to look into VSU’s program, and I instantly fell in love with it. I love that I can receive a clinical education in an environment where professors and students alike are truly kind, supportive, and collaborative, and that we receive hands-on training in our clinic from day one. The emphasis on diversity and the training in systemic thinking we receive allows us to work with clients holistically, which I think is truly beautiful, in addition to being the only truly ethical way to engage in therapy. My ultimate goal is to work in private practice in Atlanta, using the knowledge I’ve gained from both of my master’s degrees to offer therapy that integrates spiritual and contemplative modalities such as mindfulness with my clinical training.

makalyn-sabella.jpg Makalyn Sabella

Hello everyone, my name is Makalyn Sabella! I am originally from Douglasville, Ga; which is a little bit outside of metro-Atlanta. I graduated in December of 2021 from Valdosta State University with a bachelor’s degree in Sociology and Anthropology and a minor in Women and Gender Studies. Growing up, I always knew I wanted to help people in whatever career choice I made. My senior year of undergrad I received a wonderful opportunity to do my senior internship with the VSU Marriage and Family Therapy program. I was incredibility interested in what marriage and family therapy was and the program that was offered at VSU. I was astonished by how welcoming and hands on the clinic and everyone within were. Being accepted now, I am so excited to gain new opportunities to learn and grow within the Marriage and Family Therapy program!

brenna-sawnders.jpg Brenna Saunders

Hello, my name is Brenna Saunders. I was born and raised in Owensboro, Kentucky. I moved to Valdosta due to my first duty assignment at Moody AFB while being Active-Duty Air Force. I served four years active as Security Forces and cross trained into Healthcare Administrative Management in the Air Force Reserves where I continue to serve. I earned my Bachelor's of Science degree in Social Psychology at Park University. I also received my Associates in Applied Science Criminal Justice through the Community College of The Air Force. Before my active-duty contract ended I did the Skills Bridge Internship where I interned at Better Mood Clinic here in Valdosta for six months. During that internship I knew becoming a therapist was the right fit for me. My friend is a MFT and encouraged me to look into VSU where I fell in love with the diversity, hands on clinical training, and broad-mindedness of our studies. I am immensely proud to be a part of this program and enduring a profession I am so passionate about. I want to obtain my license after this program and work clinically to serve a diversity of clients of all ages, promoting unity and self-love.  


Hey, my name is Sydney Siddell and I grew up in Thomasville, Ga. I graduated in December 2021 with a bachelor's in psychology. People have come to me for advice since middle school, but I did not consider a career in psychology until I met 5 memorable kids at my current job. I was encouraged to research careers in psychology by a mom who watched me interacting with these kids. Finding myself a little overwhelmed by all the options in the psych field, I was relieved to learn that the MFT program here at VSU (Valdosta State University) upholds principles that I believe to be important. My goal is to work near a body of water or a state park so I can meet people for sessions in nature. I hope to work together with some like-minded people on a program that will provide accessible mental health education and care to people who may not know about their options.

thumbnail_kellen-sparling.jpg Kellen Sparling

Hello, my name is Kellen. I was born and raised in Southern California where I met my husband. He is currently active duty military and we, along with our three kids, have had the privilege throughout his career to live all over the country. I graduated from Arizona State University with a degree in Public Service and Public Policy, intending to work in policy writing in some capacity. After being relocated to Washington state I began working as a case manager in early intervention services and received an endorsement in infant mental health. In this role I discovered my passion for working directly with families, especially young moms. I loved working with families from a strength-based perspective and realized quickly that public policy was not the path I wanted to take any longer.

I am excited to be in this program to strengthen my understanding of family dynamics and to pursue a career in family therapy. As a mom, I understand the challenges of that role and hope to focus my career in some capacity on the parent and child dynamic.

camryn-studstill.jpeg CAMRYN STUDSTILL

Hello everyone! My name is Camryn Studstill, and I am a Valdosta native born and raised. I graduated Magna Cum Laude in December 2021 from Valdosta State University with my Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology and a minor in Sociology. I first learned about the Marriage and Family Therapy Program when a group of graduate students came to talk about Family Works during one of my undergrad classes. I had a wonderful opportunity to intern with this program during the Summer of 2021 and automatically fell in love with it. I have always had a passion for helping and serving others, which is something the MFT program will allow me to do. I look forward to continuing my journey here at Family Works and cannot wait to see what the future holds! 

 debbie-vizcarrando.jpg Deborah Vizcarrondo

HI!  My name is Deborah Vizcarrondo and I have lived in Valdosta since 1987 when I moved here as a junior to complete my B.S. Ed in Spanish.  I stayed the following year to continue on and get my M. Ed. In Spanish as well.  From then on I taught Spanish in public and private high schools, colleges and even for home school groups. In the summers, I often went to Spanish speaking countries to do volunteer ministry work of different types, ranging from teaching, holding children’s camps, putting floors in homes and providing resources to support local leaders in rural areas.  This led me to starting my own non-profit that I ran for 5 years.  The common denominator in all of these experiences was engaging in the lives of people directly, using whatever skills and resources I had available to me, to benefit them in some way.  Helping others and seeing them thrive has always been my passion.  The greatest frustration I had in these prior experiences was not having the therapeutic skills to help as I would’ve liked.  So, now that my three children have all finished their schooling and are living independently, it’s time to purse that formal training.  I chose VSU’s Marriage and Family Therapy Program because I’ve had a number of personal friends who’ve gone through the program and who all are amazing friends and therapists.  The education they received here in the MFT program was exemplary and I am so excited to now have the same opportunity to learn and grow personally and professionally as they did and then use those skills to continue helping others. 

mackenzie-waters.jpgMACKENZIE WATERS

Hello, my name is Mackenzie Waters, and I am from Newnan, Georgia. I received my Bachelor of Science in sociology from the University of West Georgia. I wanted to be a therapist since I was young, but I was not sure what type of therapy I wanted to go into. I found my love for families during undergrad and decided on marriage and family therapy. I love how involved the program is at Valdosta State University, and that is why I decided to apply here. I am very excited about these next two years and the prospect of becoming a licensed marriage and family therapist in the future!

tykeria-white.jpgTY'KERIA WHITE

I am Ty'Keria White, a first year Marriage & Family Intern. I was born and raised in Valdosta, GA. I obtained my Bachelor of Science in psychology at Valdosta State University, and figured there was no other place than home to continue my education. I am the first generation in my immediate family to be obtaining my master's. I believe that therapy is a part of my purpose, and hope that I can fulfill this by being a part of this program. I am extremely excited to be beginning this new venture, and hope to find an immense amount of success, not only with the program but in life. 

kaia-williams.jpg KAIA WILLIAMS

Hey everyone, my name is Kaia Williams, my parents were both in the military so I moved around a lot. I graduated Valdosta State in December 2021 with a Political Science degree. When I was younger I was always to that I was a good listener, and I knew that I wanted to help people who couldn’t speak for their self. I thought a lawyer would fill those shoes, but it just I didn’t feel complete. I was recommended to look more into the Marriage and Family Therapy, and after doing more research I become interested in the program. I hope to be able to help different people, and I hope to help people like me. I am excited to learn how to understand people better, and look forward to diving into the future of therapy