Sunday Sep 21st, 2014
In 2006, Tishia’s secure home life unraveled when her father and stepmother divorced and her father spiraled into depression. At 15, Tishia had to start fending for herself. She got a job, became disengaged from school, and stayed with friends or in shelters. She became pregnant. She eventually got a housing voucher and started building a life. But then, in one terrible week in 2012, she lost her job, home and car. It was her rock bottom, and she knew she needed to make some changes.
Tishia said, “I knew education was my barrier; I needed my high school diploma.” She enrolled in the Eastside Youth Opportunity (YO) Center for youth who are disconnected from school and workforce. During her time at YO, Tishia formed a close bond with Job Developer Maria Oliver, who helped her search for jobs, create a professional resume, and look for housing. She enrolled in a healthcare careers training program at Sinai Hospital, earned her medication technician license, and started working toward becoming a licensed nursing assistant. In 2013, Tishia earned her GED® high school diploma and nursing assistant license. She was hired full-time at Sinai, thanks to her performance during training and her tenacity.
Outcomes & Benefits
Tishia is now employed full-time as a certified nursing assistant (CNA) in the orthopedics unit at St. Joseph’s Medical Center. She owns a car and rents a home, and she participated in the YO graduation ceremony in May 2014. She says her relationship with Ms. Oliver is what she values most from her time in YO. “I don’t have a supportive family; there’s no consistent backbone. I’m the backbone. Miss Maria has really been there for me. Any time I go through stuff, I know I can call her.”