Promotional Spotlight: Jessica Shaylor

May 1, 2023

Jessica Shaylor, Outpatient Therapist

Allow me to introduce to you this month’s promotional spotlight employee, Jessica Shaylor, Outpatient Therapist at our Antelope Valley Family Center location. Jessica started her career at Penny Lane in March 2021 as a Facilitator at our Antelope Valley location. Since that time, she has been diligent in following her dreams to become a therapist to continue helping families in her community. That diligence has paid off and she was promoted to Outpatient Therapist in March of this year! She has a master’s degree in clinical psychology from Pepperdine University and holds an Associate Marriage and Family Therapist and an Associate Professional Clinical Counselor Licenses in the state of California.

Congratulations on your continued success Jessica!!

What was your journey prior to coming to Penny Lane (PLC)?

I was working as a Legal Secretary at Los Angeles Dependency Lawyers (LADL) located inside the McCourtney courthouse. Our attorneys are court appointed to represent parents who have open DCFS cases. My responsibilities were far and wide, and I wore different hats in supporting my attorneys and clients. It was while working at LADL that I decided to pursue my dream of becoming a therapist due to all the support I was providing our clients. I was in a sense, an unpaid Therapist and I wanted to help them on a deeper level due to all the hoops and hurdles, AND emotional roller coaster rides these parents were being put through to be reunified with their children. It boils down to wanting to do more but not being able to due to not having the education to do so. That is when I decided to do something about it. I was accepted at Pepperdine University Graduate School of Education in Psychology in October 2019. It was SUPER hard working full-time, attending my classes online, being a mom of two teenagers, and going through a divorce. But, with the support of my amazing family, attorneys, and close friends who knew I was destined to be in the mental health field as a therapist is how I was able to pull it together during the tough times.

What brought you to PLC?

Being that I worked at LADL and had to read all the detention reports of our clients as a part of our intake process. I always came across some sort of Penny Lane involvement with our clients’ kiddos, so I did some research as to what Penny Lane was about. While visiting the PL website, I noticed all the programs offered to support the community and I wanted to be a part of that. I began checking for openings and I applied for many with the hope that I would get a call back for an interview – it only took 4 years (lol) to finally get a call back to be interviewed for an Intensive Services Facilitator position. I interviewed with Casey Zuniga and Daisy De Jesus, and it was one of the best interviews I’ve ever had! It was more like a conversation with an old friend, rather than a traditional interview. They both made me feel so comfortable and I felt like I could be myself. It worked because shortly after my interview, I got a call back from Casey letting me know I got the job!

What is your favorite aspect of working at PLC?

There are so many but if I must narrow it down, it would be the people I work with. The support is… I have no words! I have never worked in a place where I felt I was truly supported! I felt heard, the feedback provided was always stated in a way that was used for growth – NEVER in a way to put one down or be shamed! I got what it was like to be strength-based and I never took that for granted. Essentially, if one is working at a place where they truly feel valued, it not only pours out in the work we do but to the clients we serve and that is my favorite aspect of working at PLC.

What was the path to promotion like for you?

Once I graduated from Pepperdine, I had to complete two BBS packets as I am dual licensing as an AMFT and APCC. Once I mailed both packets, the waiting game began. Once I received my AMFT number in late January, I reached out to HR to inquire if there were any internal therapist positions available so I could apply. I received confirmation that there were openings for Outpatient Therapists in the Clinic and for an IS Bilingual Therapist for FSP. I completed the job bid and got an email from Catherine inquiring about my availability for an interview for Outpatient. The entire process was super simple!

How did the PLC team help along the way?

My supervisor, Casey Zuniga, was super supportive. She knew being a therapist was my path and that my role as a Facilitator was temporary. She encouraged me to think about all the feedback provided along the way and utilize it towards my growth.

Daisy De Jesus – for supervising me when interning. She was extremely helpful and provided useful insight when I was stuck in supporting my clients.

What were some benefits that PLC offers that you took advantage of to further your education / career with PLC?

The internship program, bilingual differential, loan forgiveness, and flexibility were some of the benefits that PLC offers that I took advantage of to further my education!

What has been the most difficult part of your new role thus far?

Probably trying to fit all my clients in on the schedule has been the most difficult part of my new role so far.

What would people be surprised to know about you?

That I ride a motorcycle – 2020 Harley Davidson Iron 883

What event in your life shaped you significantly?

My mom was diagnosed with Scleroderma in 1997. It was tough watching this woman who NEVER got sick, and the backbone of our family be affected by this rare and severe disease. At that time, there was very little known about it and no cure. Sadly, she passed 6 months after being diagnosed but quickly realized life is too short and not taking anything or anyone for granted because tomorrow is never promised!

What’s the best piece of advice you ever got?

“There is no such thing as a perfect parent so make mistakes in front of your kids! It shows you’re only human!”

What do you appreciate most about Penny Lane?

Penny Lane makes certain EVERYONE is included and VOICES are heard and that is what I appreciate most about Penny Lane!

Please share something you are grateful for.  

I am BEYOND grateful to my family for their never-ending support in my deciding to go back to school and pursue my dream to become a therapist. It’s been a LONG journey, but I made it!!

-Jessica Shaylor, Penny Lane Centers