Founder and CEO Dorothy “Jeanius” Tillman reintroduced herself as a doctor at 17. She received a Doctor of Behavioral Health from Arizona State University’s College of Health Solutions during her dissertation defense. In May, she will participate in commencement as Dorothy Jean Tillman. In her research, Tillman “focused on the impact of implementing an outreach and education program aimed at reducing the stigma associated with using campus mental health services among college-aged students,” according to a press release.

As part of her Dorothy Jeanius STEAM Leadership Institute, Tillman invests in the next generation of leaders. A STEAM education includes science, technology, engineering, art, and math. She plans to promote mental and behavioral health services within educational institutions and community-based organizations with her environmental science expertise. The STEAM-ulators are paving the way for a broader range of underrepresented groups to enter and succeed in STEAM-related fields.

“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,” Tillman previously told Black Enterprise.

According to Black Enterprise, schools have seen a surge in demand for care that is far outpacing their capacity. There is also an overwhelming need for counseling centers in college since many students today meet the criteria for at least one mental health issue.

A CDC report found nearly three out of five teen girls reported feeling hopeless or sad in 2021. This rate has almost doubled in the past decade, with boys nearly 60% higher than the previous rate. The CDC data determined that school-based activities “can make a profound difference in the lives of teens with a relatively small infusion of support to schools.”

As a 10-year-old, Tillman attended the College of Lake County in Grayes Lake, Illinois, majoring in psychology, where she earned her master’s degree at age 14. She earned her Master of Science from Unity College in Unity, Maine. Her associate degree was earned in 2016, and her bachelor’s in humanities degree was achieved in 2018 at Excelsior College.