Tara is currently enrolled in the medical administration program at Bryan University and is planning to complete her associate degree in 2024, a goal she is pursuing while working full-time and raising her twelve-year-old son and nine-year-old daughter. Earning her associate degree in hospital administration is a key part of Tara’s strategy to earn new opportunities and take on more responsibilities at the healthcare clinic where she is currently employed.

Tara grew up in New York’s foster system. Her childhood was one of difficulty, abuse and family instability. She faltered academically and internalized the emotionally damaging rhetoric directed at her by her six siblings. Not knowing how to ask for help, Tara struggled alone and managed to earn a GED degree. Tara admits making mistakes in the past but maintains a thoughtful and positive outlook. “But by the grace of my Lord, I have made it. Even continuing making wrong decisions, thinking they were right. I can say I have a lot of life lessons that will always stick with me.”

Five years ago, after leaving unhealthy relationships and winning custody of her children, Tara moved from New York City to North Carolina. She was hired to handle customer service and work the front desk at an urgent care facility, a position she still thrives in. Tara’s professional journey has been one of both self-discovery and rediscovery. She found a deep interest in healthcare administration, uncovered a natural ability for process improvements and reignited a desire for learning and education. Tara has been instrumental in creating a cohesive team in her urgent care unit. One supervisor said of Tara “I see amazing leadership in Tara and I am very lucky to have her on my team. She brings out the best in everyone.”

Bolstered by her success in the workplace, propelled by her desire for career advancement, and motivated to provide better opportunities for children, Tara found the confidence to pursue her dream of higher education.

Returning to school after a ten-year break, Tara realized there would be obstacles and challenges ahead. Tara’s commitment to maintaining a stable and healthy environment for her children provided the inspiration she needed to overcome her doubts about pursuing a post-secondary degree. Although scared of the prospect of returning to school, Tara is determined to “face my fear and show my kids …thirty-eight is not too old to go to school.”