Tieausha Robinson is a powerful example of spirit triumphing over circumstances. Drug abuse was rampant in her family, and, as a child, instability in her home life led to hunger, learning problems and referral to the foster care system. Despite adversity, young Tieausha took responsibility for the care of her siblings and stepsiblings. Though she was almost placed in a special education program, she showed her potential for success early on by making the honor roll, even though there were those who said she’d never do it.
As a teen, Tieausha met further challenges. She lost her favorite uncle to a genetic disease, her grandfather was murdered, and she was removed to permanent foster care. She ran away from foster care, lived for a time with an older friend who sold drugs, and moved in with her boyfriend at age 16. During five years together, they married and had two children, but she suffered verbal and physical abuse. While her husband worked, she did his high school homework for him. He graduated; she did not. The couple moved from California to Oregon, where Tieausha’s husband went to prison for a felony.
Tieausha and her children moved again—to Atlanta, Georgia, where a new boyfriend taught her marketing skills. She started making good money, and found that she enjoyed talking with young women and encouraging them to be successful in their lives.
Unfortunately, her new boyfriend became violent. Tieausha was embarrassed that she was in an abusive relationship again, and began lying to her friends and family, pretending that her life was happier and safer than it really was. After three years in Georgia, she took her children and returned to Oregon.
Tieausha came to Goodwill’s Job Connection in Salem and met Employment Specialist Deb Dionesotes. Deb had a huge impact on Tieausha’s professional and personal life. “Deb is a firecracker,” says Tieausha. “She empowered and encouraged me.” Deb provided job leads, application assistance, and outside referrals. Building on Tieausha’s strengths, Deb helped her create a strong resume and referred her to Wells Fargo Bank, where she now works part-time as a bank teller. Tieausha can now support her family.