For DonorsFor Applicants
user profile avatar

Jessica Dunn


Bold Points






It’s with deep gratitude that I have this space to introduce myself. My name is Jess Dunn. I’m currently enrolled in the Masters in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program at GCU! A continuous passion of mine is serving the community that I live in, which in Portland includes the houseless and incarcerated populations. I work at Trillium Family Services as their Community Program Specialist. I oversee three of our outpatient (community) programs. First, (Intensive Community Treatment Services) aims to provide effective clinical treatment for children, adolescents, and families struggling to manage mental health symptoms in the home and community. ICTS helps prevent the need for residential treatment. Second, (Intensive in-home behavioral health treatment) is a multi-disciplinary team of psychiatrists, therapists, and skills trainers working with clients and families to help them understand and manage their mental health needs. Lastly, I run the Restorative Services program, in collaboration with the State Legal system. I receive a court order and have 7 days to get the client seen to begin RS services. I am an advocate for these kids who have a mental health need that directly influences their illegal activity. I work with a forensic psychiatry team and send out evaluations to the state on whether the client is fit to proceed. The work I do includes many comorbidities. I am excited for the opportunity to share more about my passions & see opportunities that arise to aid me through this process.


Grand Canyon University

Master's degree program
2021 - 2025
  • Majors:
    • Clinical, Counseling and Applied Psychology

California State University-Chico

Bachelor's degree program
2017 - 2021
  • Majors:
    • Liberal Arts and Sciences, General Studies and Humanities
    • Psychology, General


  • Desired degree level:

    Doctoral degree program (PhD, MD, JD, etc.)

  • Graduate schools of interest:

  • Transfer schools of interest:

  • Majors of interest:

  • Not planning to go to medical school
  • Career

    • Dream career field:


    • Dream career goals:

      Jackanow Suicide Awareness Scholarship
      I lost my Father to suicide in 2019. Upon receiving the phone call, my world stopped and I felt as though I would never move again. I felt the weight of loss- but also the depth of loosing someone to suicide. When someone takes their own life and you get that call, it all feels different. You begin to obsess over the details of their life wondering where “the signs were”. You start to blame yourself for not noticing. You get angry with the choice that was made, but you also understand it all at the same time. It’s confusing- and isolating as many people do not know how to hold space for you amidst this kind of grief. During that time I learned that while pain demands to be felt, so does love. I have found that the love you have underneath that certain pain is the hidden treasure. Dad’s love is much greater than the pain. My love for him was built from moments hearing his laugh, seeing his smile, and being in his presence. It’s the love I got to know because of him. He adventured constantly, and would teach me “grasshopper” lessons about our Cherokee Indian culture. He taught me to fish, gather, swim, surf, and appreciate being outside. He was connected to Mother Nature and had a unique peace about him. This world had a lot of him left to recieve. I responded to the loss with a lot of questioning. This questioning led me to change my entire idea of what my life would be at 20 years old. First, I embraced mental health support for my grief. I attended support groups, individual therapy, and conferences. Once I felt stable I began to research suicide: when I first read the statistics I became nauseated and overwhelmingly anxious. My reality was also many others. I thought of the families asking: What could have been different? Why did I not save them? Then, I thought of those suffering in the darkness. The ones teetering this edge, the ones crying out in agnony, and the ones with suicide plans. That day, I went to the Butte County Behavioral Health Hospital and asked if they were hiring for crisis management, 72 hour holds, and suicide ideation cases. They had me in for an interview where I explained this new found desire to understand and be present for those who cannot imagine living any longer. I began working for them, and soon after volunteered for the police department as well to assist on wellness checks/suicide calls and transport. I changed my career path. I chose to devote everything to serving those with depressive symptoms and suicide ideation. I became an advocate for mental health care and raised awareness in my city. Loosing my Dad taught me that suffering turns us inward at first but with time we can rise above suffering and see others through the lens of suffering. Our pain can be repurposed as compassion towards people. It’s unsettling how fast time has flown by since September 14th, 2019 and how abruptly he left. Yet, as I write this I am in awe of the impact my Dad’s death has had in 5 years. As I think of the many clients I’ve been with as they screamed, kicked, and cried out “LET ME DIE”, I think of singing to them, embracing them, and reminding them: “it won’t always be this way, the darkness never wins”. Because of my Dad, I have seen many kids walk out of the hardest pain one can know. I’ve witnessed miracles. He’s changing the world even from above.