Tanya is a social worker and has a small practice in Essex working primarily with youth and young adults. Tanya is also a school social worker at Charlotte Central School. She lives in Essex with her spouse Jefferson Hales and their dog Laika.
Tanya made the decision to run for state office after realizing that the government did not seem set up to work for her, her neighbors, or most Vermonters. Upon closer inspection, it became clear that her voice wasn’t even represented in Montpelier. After serving as a State Representative for Essex, her desire to make change is stronger than ever. Tanya wants to fight for a Vermont that works for everyone and make sure that the voices of all people are represented. She believes in affordable housing, living wages, social justice, universal healthcare, strong education, and progressive taxation.
Tanya graduated with honors from Essex High School in 2003 and went away to college where she received a bachelors of science from Northeastern University. When it came time to come home, Tanya was faced with how difficult it was to make ends meet as a person starting out in Vermont. For years she lived in Montpelier and commuted to her job in Burlington.
Tanya was able to return to Chittenden County to live when she took a job at Pathways Vermont working with state government to develop and run the Vermont Support Line. Through her work on the support line and while attaining a graduate degree in social work from the University of Vermont, Tanya deepened her skills in leadership, activism, and policy.
Tanya has extensive experience that positions her well to fight for a Vermont that works for everyone; the young person starting out, the retired person living on a fixed income, the social worker scraping by, the person who is unable to work due to circumstance. She wants to increase affordability, build towards equity and accessibility, support strong education, and promote community engagement. Tanya believes that this state will only work when all voices are adequately represented and fully participating.
Tanya’s experience and achievements include:
- Intern at Essex Essential Early Education Program (2001)
- Intern at Chittenden County State’s Attorney’s Office (2003)
- Essex High School Graduate, with honors (2003)
- Northeastern University, Bachelors of Science (2009)
- Pathways Vermont Support Line Developer in collaboration with Department of Mental health as mandated by Act 79 (2012)
- Vermont Support Line Program Director (2013-2015)
- National Association of Social Work Board Member, Social Justice Steering Committee Member (since 2016)
- Graduate Research Fellow, Northeastern Vermont Area Health Education Center (2016)
- The University of Vermont, Masters of Social Work (2017)
- Private practice social work counseling practice in Essex (since 2017)
- School social worker (since 2018)