Dorothy “Jeanius” Tillman has earned her Doctor of Behavioral Health (DBH) at the youthful age of 17 from Arizona State University’s ASU College of Health Solutions.
Dr. Dorothy Jean Tillman, as she is now known, successfully defended her dissertation, delving into the impact of an outreach and education program targeting the reduction of stigma associated with campus mental health services among college-aged students.
The upcoming commencement ceremony in Phoenix next May will mark another milestone in Tillman’s extraordinary academic journey.
Notably, the nationally recognized CEO from Chicago’s South Side earned her master’s degree at 14 and is the founder and CEO of the Dorothy Jeanius STEAM Leadership Institute, a platform dedicated to cultivating the next generation of leaders.
Her recent research findings will play a crucial role in addressing the prevalent issues surrounding mental and behavioral health services within educational institutions and community-based organizations.
Leveraging her expertise in environmental and sustainable science, Tillman aims to shed light on the urgent need for mental health support, especially for underrepresented groups pursuing STEAM-related fields.
Concerns over the inadequacy of counseling services in many schools echo Tillman’s sentiments.
Counselors in a lot of schools aren’t really up to par with what those students need, or even if the counselors are very competent, there’s way too many students to help each one,” she said.
Schools are grappling with an overwhelming demand for mental health care, compounded by a lack of funding.
Experts emphasize the necessity of a multifaceted approach to effectively support students, particularly with the majority meeting criteria for at least one mental health problem.
Tillman’s dedication aligns with the CDC’s call for action to prevent and reduce the negative impact of violence and trauma on teens. The CDC underscores the transformative potential of school-based activities with a modest infusion of support.
Starting her higher education journey at age 10, Tillman consistently shattered records, attributing her success to her mother, Jimalita Tillman, and the guidance of other supportive figures.
Her advocacy for effective leadership and teaching underscores her belief in education and mentorship’s transformative power.
Dr. Dorothy Jean Tillman’s story continues to inspire, proving that age is no impediment to making a profound impact on education and mental health advocacy.