“I never had a lot growing up,” says Tyisha, a graduate of Center For Family Services. “I craved independence and success, but knew I had to work hard to achieve them.”
Tyisha's early life was a journey through foster care where she lived with several different caretakers until she turned 18 and aged out of the system.
Even with a lack of resources and familial support, Tyisha was determined to succeed. Her life changed when she was referred to Center For Family Services' youth safe housing programs.
With the help of Center For Family Services, Tyisha learned skills that would lead her on the path toward independence all while providing her with a roof over her head and encouragement from supportive staff.
"I wanted to learn how to clean and cook for myself. Center For Family Services taught me that and more. They really prepared me for my next step which was moving into my own supportive apartment."
The supportive apartment, part of Center For Family Services' continuum of care, offers wrap-around services to young people who have aged out of foster care. While there, residents learn how to set up a savings account, pay bills, and balance school and work.
During her three years at her supportive apartment, Tyisha set and achieved goals. "The staff encouraged me every day. They pushed me to work hard and believe in myself."
After graduating high school, Tyisha entered Prism Medical School where after one year she became a licensed medical assistant. " School was really hard at first but I wanted to get through it. I was determined to get through it. I focused all of my energy on education because I knew it would prepare me for my future."
Tyisha's ultimate career goal was to work at Cooper University Hospital. With the unwavering support and encouragement of staff, she got her wish. "I wanted to go to work happy and I knew that meant working for Cooper."
The supportive team at Center For Family Services helped prepare Tyisha for interviews by teaching her effective greeting techniques, cover letter and resume writing, and professional interview skills. "If it wasn't for them, I wouldn't have been so confident in my interview and I wouldn't have been offered a job at Cooper."
Now, 8 years and two promotions later, Tyisha is still employed full time at Cooper University Hospital as a Patient Service Representative in Bariatrics.
But her dreams didn't stop there. As her time at Center For Family Services came to a close she set her signs on owning her own home.
"I had never lived by myself. I was constantly surrounded by people when I was in foster care and residential homes so I rarrely got peace and quite," she recalls. "Once I secured my job at Cooper, Center For Family Services guided me through the process of homeownership."
On January 30, 2012, Tyisha made settlement and moved into a brand new condominum located in Camden City. "It was such an exciting time for me. I couldn't wait to decorate and have friends over to my own place."
Tyisha has achieved her dreams and so much more.