2022 Tillman Scholar

Haley Padgett

Military Spouse
College of William & Mary

“We must work together to empower children with the resilience and resources they need to thrive, so they can lead us into the future with creativity, compassion and courage.”

Haley Padgett is committed to serving children and families in under-resourced communities. After graduating from Harvard, she joined Teach for America and taught fourth grade in Memphis, Tennessee, where she met her husband, Jarrod, a Force Reconnaissance Marine. They share a passion for service and using their time and talents to positively impact the world around them.

After Memphis, Haley moved to New York City to continue working with under-resourced youth in Harlem. She is currently teaching at a Title I dual-language school in Alexandria, Virginia, and working towards a degree in clinical mental health counseling. After witnessing the impact of trauma on the physical and mental well-being of her students, and the lack of supportive services available to them, Haley decided to pursue a career in counseling. Her goal is to become an effective therapist who uses play therapy and other trauma-responsive practices to help children and families build resilience, heal, and thrive. Haley is passionate about addressing barriers to mental health care by partnering with school districts to bring high quality services to communities in need.

Her long-term goals are to increase access to counseling services in communities suffering from intergenerational poverty and violence, as well as to recent immigrants and refugees. Haley’s students, through their strength, spirit and resilience have shown her that we all have reason to feel confident and optimistic about our future, and that there is nothing more important than investing in the health and happiness of our children.