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Matchmaker, Matchmaker: An Alumna’s Labor of Love

As a professional matchmaker, psychology major Michelle Jacoby, BA ’87, uses her people skills to help D.C singles look for love in all the right places.

Professional matchmaker Michelle Jacoby, BA ’87

Professional matchmaker Michelle Jacoby, BA ’87
February 13, 2020

Michelle Jacoby, BA ’87, describes herself as a “compulsive connecter.” She’s the friend you call for a book recommendation, a restaurant tip or the number of the best dentist in town. And her top talent is connecting people. For as long as she can remember, she’s matched happy couples at her dinner parties and set up lunch dates that blossomed into long-term romances.

“It’s something I sort of instinctively know how to do—bring people together,” said Jacoby, a former psychology major. “It's a combination of listening skills, reading people and a lot of good luck with the universe.”

So when Jacoby was mulling a life change in 2009—while raising four children, she tried her hand at businesses from massage therapy to computer work—her parents suggested becoming a professional couple connector: a matchmaker.

“I thought, ‘I’m a good dater, I’m good with people. Why not give it a whirl? It might be fun,’” she laughed.

Today, Jacoby owns D.C. Matchmaking, a boutique service that brings together commitment-seeking singles in the Washington-metro area. Jacoby has been recognized as a leader in the professional dating field and, in 2017, was voted the number one matchmaker in the U.S. by her peers. She went on to co-found the industry’s nonprofit Matchmakers Alliance and has written advice columns for publications including Self and Washington Life Magazine. Her business also offers date-coaching for women seeking the secrets of relationship success, and she recently launched a friends-matching service for busy professionals who want to find a platonic pal.

“I’m very passionate about this work,” she said. “One thing that makes me a good matchmaker is that people feel comfortable with me. They open up and trust me. They know I they have their best interests at heart.”

In the Tinder age of swiping right, matchmakers may seem like a Fiddler on the Roof relic. But Jacoby largely caters to clients who have no interest in the bar scene and no time to navigate apps and online options. Working with about 20 clients at a time—80 to 90 percent are men—she matches potential partners based on preferences from physical attraction to shared values and goals. “It is a very personal, very interactive, very high level of service,” she said. The perfect match may come from her free database of 6,500 singles in the D.C. area or her voluminous address book or even someone she chats with in line at Starbucks.

Her time and talent can be pricey. A matchmaking contract runs about $15,000, while date coaching can be $10,000. Jacoby’s clients, who are mostly older but range in age from 20 to over 70, trust her to find compatible companions so her they can simply show up and enjoy their dates. It’s a task that puts Jacoby’s psychology degree to work. She often must determine what her clients are looking for even if they aren’t quite sure themselves. “People who have psychology degrees—people who are super curious about how the mind works and how people think—would enjoy what I do on daily basis,” she said.

Jacoby assures even the most dysfunctional daters that they can learn to love it. “Believe it or not, dating can actually be really enjoyable.” In addition to coaching clients on everything from clothes to conversation, she navigates them around her dating-don’t’s. First, she said, don’t over share. A first date isn’t the forum to get deeply personal about your ex, your boss or your family drama. “You don’t need to tell your whole life story over that first drink,” she said. “By the time the check comes, you’ll both be exhausted.”

Second, Jacoby advised, don’t look for chemistry—create it. Instead of expecting to be swept off your feet, relax and enjoy spending time with someone new. “Dating should be fun and playful,” she said. “You should be getting to know each other—not immediately looking for sparks to fly.”

And don’t be too quick to dismiss a date after the first encounter. One client, Jacoby recalled, was downcast after a date. “He told me he really liked this woman but he knew for a fact she didn’t like him.” When pressed him, he revealed that she had been looking over his shoulder at other men throughout dinner. But his date had a different take. She said she was just too nervous to make eye contact. Jacoby encouraged them to give it another shot—and this time look at each other. “They had a great second date,” she said, “and I danced at their wedding!”

The MECCA Group LLC (1112 16th Street, NW, Suite 600, Washington, DC  20036; 202-529-3117)

Position Opening: One to One Behavior Intervention Specialist

Job Description: One to One Behavior Intervention Specialists provide trauma informed one to one behavior intervention for children and adolescents with behavioral, emotional, and/or developmental delays who are at high-risk for repeated psychiatric hospitalization and placement disruption. The goal of the intervention is to reduce behavioral challenges, maintain safety, and stabilize youth to reduce placement disruption and improve prosocial behaviors.

Responsibilities:

  1. Direct supervision to ensure child and youth’s physical safety
  2. Observe and redirect inappropriate behaviors
  3. Implement de-escalation techniques and other services as recommended by a mental health practitioner or professional
  4. Assist child or youth in utilization of pro-social skills and appropriate behaviors to increase adaptive functioning in the community
  5. Model appropriate and specific intervention techniques specific to the child and or youth being served.
  6. Participate in team meetings as required.
  7. Attend court ordered court proceedings as required.
  8. Develop effective working relationships with the individuals receiving services, the responsible party and their families, and other service providers while maintaining professional boundaries.
  9. Engage in respectful, open communication with the individuals receiving services, the responsible party and other family and team members to promote consistent, quality care.
  10. Promote team work and collaboration within the behavioral and mental health team working with the client.
  11. Complete written progress notes as required, using quantitative and qualitative data.
  12. Report any suspected maltreatment of suspected abuse or neglect consistent with maltreatment reporting laws.

Other Responsibilities:

  1. Submission of timely documentation and invoices to administration
  2. Attend bi-monthly supervision meetings
  3. Participate in mandatory HIPPA and Ethics training as required.
  4. Arriving on time for and completing shift as assigned
  5. Maintaining communication with supervisors

Requirements:

  1. Bachelor’s degree in education, psychology, social work, counseling, or other related field.
  2. At least one-year experience working with children and youth with emotional, behavioral, psychiatric, and/or intellectual disabilities.
  3. TACT-2 or other crisis intervention certification
  4. FBI clearance
  5. Child Protection Registry clearance
  6. Local police background check from jurisdictions of residence within the past 5 years

Salary: $17 - $20 per hour (based upon education and experience)

Interested parties should email a resume and three references to Dr. Keisha Mack at kmack@themeccagroupllc.com

 

MALE TUTOR/COUNSELING POSITIONS WITH THE Regional Math/Science Center - Frostburg State University
Summer Program 2018

The Upward Bound Regional Math Science Center (RMSC) at Frostburg State University seeks male tutor/ counselors for a summer program designed to encourage and motivate qualified high school students to pursue post-secondary education and to develop skills and attitudes essential for success beyond high school.

POSITION DESCRIPTION:
• These are residential positions and Tutor Counselors (TCs) are responsible for supervising program participants (high school students) in the male residence halls and during all RMSC sponsored activities.
• Tutor Counselors are also an integral part of the student’s academic experience as TCs attend academic classes with the students and assist them as they complete their scientific investigations.
• TCs also chaperon field trips; plan & lead recreational activities; and create, maintain & enforce a safe, positive & productive residential hall living environment.
• Includes one week of staff training and the multi-week summer program with students.

POSITIONS AVAILABLE, TENTATIVE DATES, and SALARY
(All residential positions include room, board, and all field trip expenses paid by the RMSC.)
• 2-Week TC June 17 – June 30, 2018 $1,170
• 3-Week TC June 17 – July 5, 2018 $1,650
• 5-Week TC June 17 – July 20, 2018 $2,700

MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS:
• One Year Undergraduate Experience
• Comfortable Working Out Of Doors (some of our science projects include field work)
• Excellent Interpersonal & Communication Skills
• Ability To Relate To Diverse University Population
• Evidence Of Success In Course Work In Science, Math or Writing
• Minimum GPA of 2.75

PREFERRED QUALIFICATIONS:
• Experience Supervising Students In Residential Setting
• Tutoring Or Teaching In Math, Science Or Writing
• Experience As Camp Counselor
• Valid Driver's License
• Experience With Disadvantaged Youth
• Participated In TRIO Or Similar Program.

FOR MORE INFORMATION: www.frostburg.edu/clife/mscenter or 1-800-646-6004

TO APPLY: Send a letter of interest; resume; copy of transcripts; and names, addresses, and telephone numbers of three professional references to:
Regional Math/Science Center RMSC@frostburg.edu
101 Braddock Road OR If applying via email please indicate position
Frostburg State University and your name in the subject line:
Frostburg, MD 21532 ex: TC – Jim Smith

DEADLINE: Applications are reviewed as they are received, and interviews will begin in January and continue until all positions are filled. You are encouraged to submit your application early for consideration for these positions.

About the Regional Math/Science Center

The FSU Regional Math/Science Center is a federally funded Department of Education Upward Bound program designed to help low-income, potential first generation college students achieve their goals of attaining college degrees, specifically in the fields of math and science. Participants in the program attend a multi-week summer session on the campus of FSU where they are engaged in a scientific research project. The RMSC strives to develop exciting hands-on projects that are relevant to modern life.

While working on these projects the practical use of the scientific method is emphasized. Students must develop testable hypotheses, help design the study, collect the data needed, analyze the data, draw conclusions based on the data collected and finally present their study in both oral and written form. Students learn about peer review as they present their study progress each week to the other students in the program. They also learn to use the computer for data analysis, for data processing their formal report, and for developing a power point presentation that is presented to a panel of scientists and an audience of parents, university and public officials.
While at FSU students also participate in a variety of activities designed to promote strong study skills and positive social behaviors, as well as activities that provide recreational and cultural experiences.

FSU Is An AA/EOE. Appropriate Auxiliary Aids & Services For Qualified Individuals W/Disability Will Be Provided Upon Request. Please Notify In Advance. WWW.FROSTBURG.EDU

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