“There is a story that needs to be shared with young people. It is my story of a young, single mother overcoming challenges, persevering, and all of the people at Get REAL, Davidson County Community College, DavidsonWorks and the NCWorks Career Center who supported me in my journey to obtain an education and employment.”
Tammara Jackson’s journey began when she dropped out of school in the 11th grade from Lexington Senior High School. She realized that she wanted to get her GED, therefore, she enrolled into Get REAL’s night program in 2002.
Public school was difficult for Tammara. On top of having many absences related to Sickle Cell disease, she was bullied on a regular basis.
At an orientation session for Get REAL, Tammara felt hopeful. She enrolled in Get REAL and the teachers worked with her to improve her TABE scores in order for her to qualify for the GED testing. Through her hard work and determination, and her teacher’s encouragement, Tammara’s successes led to greater self esteem. “Everyone around her could see the difference,” Nancy Holland adds.
Tammara and her mom celebrated a dream come true when Tammara completed her GED in 2004, and then immediately set her sights on attending college! She worked for a few years to become more stable financiallyand then enrolled at Davidson County Community College in 2010. She discovered she loved Math, and eventually chose to pursue her Associates Degree in Accounting. In addition to her studies, Tammara seized an opportunity for a Work/Study program at DCCC in reception and administration, gaining work experience and more confidence.
As Tammara approached her last year in school, she enrolled in the WIOA program through the NCWorks Career Center to obtain a scholarship for completion of her accounting degree. Tammara graduated in May 2015 with an Associate Degree in Accounting and was hired to work part-time at DCCC while she was seeking permanent, full-time employment.
The NC Works Career Center provided needed support in job readiness preparation. Staff assisted, encouraged, and coached Tammara in meeting some of the challenges she faced while she was a student in college and after graduation while job searching from resume and cover letter development, to networking, and interview preparation through mock interviews.
Tammara was surrounded with a team through the years that encouraged and supported her. The story continues as she is currently pursuing a Bachelor Degree in Accounting and was offered permanent employment at Get REAL as Administrative Office Support/Retention and Recruitment Specialist. She is enthusiastic about the opportunity to give back, make a difference, and to inform, inspire, and encourage young people to let them know they can make it too!