Alumna Tashira York-Funchers Credits
MCCC With
Changing Her Life

2/10


Each weekday Tashira York-Funchers of Trenton focuses on children, families - and matters of money. As a child support paternity specialist in New Jersey's Division of Family Development, her goal is to serve as a neutral intermediary between the custodial and non-custodial parent. Her work often places her behind the scenes, seeking federal and state dollars to aid children in need of financial support when there is a breakdown in family structure and communication.

"It is gratifying to be on the side of the child," York-Funchers said. "If a parent's child support payment is in arrears, there is a law that says child support can be intercepted via an individual's federal tax refunds, homestead rebates and other revenue sources." York-Funchers' duties include updating information on the department's computer system and corresponding with the affected parties. "All information is kept strictly confidential. I try to put myself in other people's shoes. I examine and respond to all appeals within a set appeal process time frame."

Tashira York-Funchers

As a child, York-Funchers absorbed her father's passion to help others while watching him work at residential facilities. A graduate of West Windsor Plainsboro High School North, she attended Shaw University in North Carolina for a year, but did not have a clear vision of her professional goals and returned to New Jersey, working as a youth counselor at the Trenton YWCA Juvenile Shelter and Triad Youth Home in Ewing. She next held positions as a judiciary clerk, and as an investigator and then supervisor in the Probation Division of the Mercer County Child Support Office.

York-Funchers considers her decision to return to college at MCCC in 1998 to be pivotal in her career advancement. Attending night classes at MCCC's James Kerney Campus, she recalls the challenge of going back to school full-time while working and raising two sons. "I could not have done it without the support of my husband, mother, great instructors, and my mentor, the late Don Jones, assistant dean at Kerney." Jones, in particular, encouraged her to keep pursuing higher education. "Mercer changed my life," she said.

After graduating from MCCC with her A.A. in Humanities and Social Science in 2004, York-Funchers continued her work/family/school juggling act, earning a bachelor's degree in Liberal Arts with a concentration in social science in 2007 and a master's in Organizational Leadership with a concentration in community counseling in 2009, both from Rider University. She plans to return to school this June to pursue her doctorate in Management Services through an online program at the University of Maryland. This new credential will give her options in multiple fields, she notes.

"MCCC prepared me to succeed at a four-year college and beyond," York-Funchers said. "Once you've been out of school for a while the transition can be hard. Mercer made it fairly easy. I knew what to expect because Mercer has the same level of expectations that universities have. If you come in with the attitude that you will succeed, you will."

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