Real people,

TE Story pic - tiara colbert


Community Health Worker
UH Rainbow Center for Women & Children

Towards Employment helps to build confidence. They gave me the reassurance that I can go a little bit further, that I can challenge myself to finish. They help remind people they’re not alone, that this is a process."

"Back in 2012 I started at University Hospitals in the kitchen as a tray passer. Now I’m a Community Health Worker. I grew up on 84th between Cedar and Central, which is the same area where I work. I know a lot of the clients that come into the clinic, and I can relate."

Tiara grew up practically across the street where she now works at UH Rainbow Center for Women and Children on Euclid and East 58th. As a child she attended afterschool programming at a local Centers for Families and Children, where she later worked as a cook. “I know a lot of the clients that come into the clinic, and I can relate,” she says, referring to her current position as one of just a handful of Community Health Workers at the hospital. How she got there is less familiar.

After starting in an entry-level nutrition services job at University Hospitals in 2012, Tiara hoped to leverage that foot in the door toward a nursing career. So when her manager shared some career advancement information, she sprung at the chance to enroll in the Pathway to Patient Care Assistant program, developed with Towards Employment to help entry-level workers advance. Working with her Towards Employment career coach, Tiara progressed within UH for more than 5 years before a supervisor approached her about joining a second Towards Employment Pathway program last year, this one for Community Health Workers.

The new position was a perfect fit for Tiara, who in her patient care role had discovered a passion for social work and is now enrolled in a bachelor’s degree program — while successfully juggling a full-time job, her 9-year-old son and community volunteer work.

“I’ve come a long way,” she says. “I have things that have gotten me down, you know, but there’s so many things to feel blessed for, I just try to be positive and ... manage everything.”

Tiara Colbert accept---**