My Story: Tiarra Barrera

Tiarra is our 2016 Kenneth Shaw Graduate of the Year.

Six years ago, I was a single mother raising two young children while living in a low-income housing community. Determined to support my family, I enrolled in Goodwill’s Certified Nurse Assistant (CNA) Training Program.

During the training program, Goodwill provided me with a $1,000 scholarship and tutorial assistance to help me succeed in the program. I also received supportive services from Goodwill, such as assistance with transportation and state testing fees. The training program gave me the inspiration I needed to embark on a new career that benefited me and my children.

While enrolled in the training program, I began taking pre-requisite courses for the registered nursing (RN) program at Long Beach City College. After graduating from the CNA program, I remained in school full-time to complete my RN prerequisite courses. My hard work paid off. I was eventually accepted into the College’s Associate Degree Nursing Program, which I graduated from two years later.

Once I passed the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nursing, I began a two-year contract to work as an RN for St. Mary Medical Center.

With the help of Goodwill, I was able to persevere in my journey of becoming a nurse, all while taking care of my growing family.