Tara is a single mother of six children and an Uplifting Parents (UP) Program participant from Meade County. With financial and emotional support from the UP program, Tara will graduate from the University of South Dakota School of Nursing in May 2020.
Each year, up to 40 Uplifting Parents clients like Tara are enrolled in the UP program and matched with a mentor to receive case management services from more than 30 partnering agencies in the UP Coalition. Clients also qualify for up to $4,800 in financial stipends and/or scholarships if they are within two years of completing a post-secondary degree.
a lift 'up' for tara
Tara's children range in age from 18 down to 3 years of age. She is a full-time caregiver for her children while also working a full-time job and being a nursing student. Her determination and dedication to finishing her nursing degree, with a helping hand from her UP mentor and other members of the UP Coalition, has been inspiring to see.
Transportation back and forth to Rapid City for school is often difficult for Tara. She and her children recently opted to move into her parents’ home to help reduce costs during her last semester of college. During her two years in the UP program, Tara has been determined, motivated and hard working.
Through all of her struggles and sacrifices, she has remained positive and looks forward to when she can provide a living wage for her family as a registered nurse, a goal that she will accomplish in just a few more months of hard work with help from the Uplifting Parents program.
A CHAMPION FOR our communities' parents
More than 70 percent of all UP participants complete a degree, become financially stable and go on to provide for their families. Four UP participants graduated from college in December 2019. Tara is one of approximately 30 more UP clients across the Black Hills region who are expected to graduate in Spring 2020 from various educational institutions.
Catholic Social Services (CSS) is a multi-program social services agency in Rapid City offering outpatient therapy and other behavioral health services, including poverty-reduction through education programs; adoption and birth parent services; a Lakota identity educational curriculum; and disaster response to the 22 counties of western South Dakota. A staff of about 25 currently includes 8 licensed counselors; 8 mentors/program specialists; and 8 support staff.