Melanie Grant selected for the JRI/William James College Masters in Counseling Scholarship

Read more to learn what this scholarship means to her.

We are pleased to announce that Melanie has been awarded a scholarship to participate in our partnered scholarship program with William James College, Masters in Counseling. Melanie was recruited from Jamaica and has worked at Developing Abilities for 23 years. She obtained her associate's degree while working at JRI, and then completed her BA at William James.  Melanie is now working towards her master's and plans to be a clinician.

What does this scholarship mean to you?

The scholarship from JRI means a lot to me as it not only provides me with the financial support but it has shown me that JRI recognizes my efforts and ability to just not as an employee but as a person itself who has academic and career aspirations.

What has your career path been like with JRI? What do you have planned for the future?  

My career path with JRI has been a great life changing experience, from a J1 visa worker, to direct support, shift supervisor, case manager, assistant manager and now program manager. JRI has been my rock and has helped me build my career. You might be asking, in what way is JRI my rock? During the Covid-19 pandemic, working at the company has highlighted my resilience. It has helped me to be both intrinsically and extrinsically motivated in achieving the goal of JRI in providing quality care for our individuals served. 

My plans for the future are to continue to work with JRI, the company that I have grown to love over the years and to also use my masters degree as a means of moving up the ranks in the company. The sky's the limit!

What do you hope to accomplish?

My hopes are so broad but what I truly want to accomplish is to be on top of my field.  I want to give individuals/clients a holistic experience when they are dealing with me.

Who inspired you to pursue the career you have today?

I would say a lot of people inspired me; from the clinicians I've worked closely with here at JRI, nurses, my lecturer, family, friends and coworkers, to a special past manager of JRI, Kristen Fagan. But, even with this, my aspirations were also fueled by myself. I wanted to achieve my lifelong dream and I just stepped up, stepped out and took a chance.

Tell us a fun fact about you!

I obsess over the simplest of things.


JRI Service Navigator

Do you have a question about JRI services?

Rachel has been a part of the JRI team since January, 2000. For over 20 years, Rachel has been working in the field of human services assisting families with accessing and navigating services. Rachel received her Bachelors degree in psychology and Masters Degree in Public Administration from Bridgewater State University. She was promoted in July 2005 to Family Networks Program Director where she closely worked with the Department of Children Families for 10 years ensuring that children and families received the highest quality of individualized services ranging from community based through residential care. Rachel is very dedicated to helping the individuals she works with and is committed to improving the lives of children and families. Rachel’s passion for creative service programming inspires her in her role as JRI Service Navigator.