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Young woman wearing nursing badgeOne trait Tiara Hodges has an abundance of is motivation. During the past two years of working with Reach and staff member Margaret, Tiara has earned her driver’s license, moved to a new apartment, completed a full-time, eight-month Job Corps program, passed her certified nursing assistant exam (on the first try), and landed three nursing assistant jobs…all while raising her 2-year old daughter, Eva.

Tiara is currently working at Ebenezer Care Center as a full-time nursing assistant, often logging double shifts. She assists residents with daily tasks, working on the rehabilitation floor. While she feels fortunate to have such a lucrative and enjoyable career that has allowed her to go off social security assistance, she has more she wants to accomplish. “I know I’m going back to school someday,” she announced. She’s just not sure if she will continue on to become a licensed practical nurse or take a slightly different path.

“I don’t know how she does it all,” Margaret said of this remarkable young woman. Margaret attests that Tiara is a dedicated hard worker, a good listener, and an excellent mother who always makes her daughter her first priority.

Margaret is somewhat of a mother figure, herself, in Tiara’s life. Margaret recalled that once after she had dropped Tiara off for an evening class, she couldn’t go to sleep that night until she called Tiara to make sure she had arrived home safely. Tiara values the concern, though, and all Margaret has done. They challenge each other equally, with Margaret pushing Tiara to accomplish her outcomes, and Tiara asking for more ways to be pushed. “She is incredibly disciplined,” says Margaret of Tiara.

That type of motivation is something that does—and rightly should—bring immense pride to Tiara. It’s no wonder Margaret considers Tiara “a blessing to work with.”