Dr. Shamara McFarland, JD, MAFP is an award-winning public servant, compassionate counselor and advocate, dynamic motivational speaker, and philanthropist with over twenty years of demonstrated commitment to children, families, and underserved communities in Los Angeles, California, where she currently resides.
Shamara is a graduate of Abraham Lincoln University Law School. She also holds a Master’s degree in Forensic Psychology and has worked for Los Angeles Child Support Services for over twenty years, focusing on child support enforcement. During her tenure, Shamara has been awarded several honors and distinctions, including the Partnership in Excellence Award in 2016 and selected for the CSSD Leadership Academy in 2015. Her early studies included Black Studies and Psychology and she earned her Bachelors’ degrees from California State University at Long Beach. Shamara is a member of the Golden Key International Honors Society, Delta Theta Phi International Law Fraternity, the International Association for Correctional and Forensic Psychology, National Council of Negro Women (Life Member), and Higher Heights for America PAC.
Shamara understands the unique experiences and needs of those working in public services and is dedicated to supporting their highly stressful, but incredibly important work. In 2017, she combined her experience in child support services, her studies of the law, and her mental health advocacy expertise to become Founder and CEO of Advocate to Advocate, a holistic services firm that engages attorneys and counselors in supportive wellness services. The business provides several key services that include coaching, mental health support, and work-life balance planning. Shamara is also a certified mediation, conflict resolution, and crisis intervention expert and she has presented a wide range of workshops from premarital group counseling to managing anger and setting boundaries for families and professionals.
As a motivational speaker, Shamara draws upon over two decades of public service, her volunteer work, her spirituality, and her deep commitment to uplifting marginalized communities. She is motivated by her deep spiritual beliefs and guided by faith, and her inspirational messages focus on helping people find meaning and purpose in their own lives. Her work with people living with long term illness, underprivileged children and families, incarcerated people, people living with mental health issues, and victims of sexual assault have made her an empathetic and compassionate speaker, facilitator, and trainer. As a literacy tutor, mentor to at-risk youth, and volunteer counselor, Shamara is driven by her faith, her resiliency, and her strength which inspire her work and give her the resolve to help those in need.