Nicole “Vanessa” Jackson a native of Montgomery, AL spent a significant portion of her childhood in Inner City Housing Projects. She is the third oldest of 6 children born to a mother struggling with drug addiction and absent biological father. The environments in which she was raised were filled with drugs, crime, and violence.Vanessa’s childhood involved moving from housing project to housing project until she went to live with a close friend of her mother and her family. Shortly after this close friend’s son was killed by gun violence she went to live with her maternal aunt who would parent her until adulthood. Within Vanessa’s family was generational poverty, addiction and abuse. As a child she attended public school where she excelled academically. She graduated from Robert E. Lee High School as Senior Class President which resulted in the privilege of conducting the graduation speech. She attended Tuskegee University, a HBCU located in Tuskegee, AL and graduated from Tuskegee University with her BSW, Magna Cum Laude, in 2005. She then left home in the south for the Midwest where she attended the #1 School of Social Work at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, MI. Vanessa completed the advanced standing MSW program and earned her MSW in 2006.
“Bringing truth to light gives power to survivors of sexual abuse, it makes sure #NO-DIRT hinders their dreams or destiny.”
In 2006, Vanessa made the decisions to stay in Michigan and begin her professional career. Vanessa‘s passion for helping children and youth who have experienced trauma, led her to create Behavioral Health Consultants, LLC, a clinical therapy practice that offers specialty treatment services and consultation. Behavioral Health Consultants, LLC was founded in 2013 and has expanded to two offices and three clinicians to date. Vanessa is a well-known clinician who is sought after for her intuitive clinical skills, creative interventions, and unending dedication. Vanessa‘s clinical work has been largely successful due to her ability to create a safe space where young people have a voice and can be vulnerable as well as open around psychological illness, trauma and or troubling issues. The impact Vanessa has had on the clients she has worked with has been described as invaluable. The change she is initiating in our society with Get the Word Out is inventive and revolutionary.
Vanessa created Get the Word Out, a grassroots preventive initiative in 2017 to stop the occurrence of childhood sexual abuse. She hopes to empower children and teens to demonstrate ownership of their thoughts, feelings, and bodies. Get the Word Out, Inc. was designed to bring the truth of childhood sexual abuse to light.Vanessa knows first-hand how far-reaching the impact of sexual abuse can be. She has dedicated her life to unveiling the secrecy and denial that allows childhood sexual abuse to thrive. Her determination to remove the stigma and dirt associated with sexual abuse is evident in all she does. The strength, love and integrity thatVanessa conveys through her work, interactions and relationships with clients, friends and family is inspiring and trailblazing.
Vanessa has used her story as a survivor of childhood sexual abuse to offer HELP, foster HOPE, and encourage HEALING. Her life’s mission to shine a light on childhood sexual abuse and remove the shame and stigma associated with it. Vanessa believes that in order to help others heal and find hope for the future, they must truly get to the heart of the matter.