Latasha M., though only in her 20s, is already a success story, in so many ways.
Tasha, as she’s called by her friends, graduated with a BS in exercise science from the University of Maryland Eastern Shore in 2014. While there she was a member of the Division I indoor and outdoor track teams. She’s currently applying to schools to pursue a masters in athletic training.
“As a kid, I never thought I would finish high school, let alone go to college or grad school,” Tasha says. “Now look at me.”
Without hesitation, Tasha says her dream job would be to combine her passion for athletics and a desire to care for others, working either as an athletic trainer for a professional sports team, like her beloved Baltimore Ravens, or as a personal trainer at a gym.
Achieving her goals
“I love being healthy and active and staying in shape,” she says. “I love getting people in shape. Pushing them a little bit at a time. I have always wanted to help people — I can’t help myself, I’ve been a problem solver all my life.”
In spite of her natural abilities and drive, Tasha credits her relationship with the Board of Child Care as the main reason she has been able to achieve her goals.
“If I could describe my experience with Board of Child Care in one word or phrase, I would say ‘lifesaver,’” she says with a smile. “BCC literally saved my life, in many ways.”
At age 13, Tasha, along with her sister, was moved into foster care, staying first at BCC’s Colesville sibling group home in Silver Spring and later at the Baltimore campus.
“Being in foster care was hard. I didn’t feel like a ‘regular kid’ at first,” she says. “But it helped me get closer to my sister. We quickly realized our family wasn’t the best support system for us. We learned we needed each other and had each other’s back.”
Learning valuable lessons
Tasha says the staff at BCC was especially helpful because they used their own experiences to teach her some valuable life lessons and skills.
“At BCC, I learned not to let my past affect my future,” she says. “The program helped me learn self-discipline, to be humble, to enjoy life, to set goals and learn how to achieve them, and to enjoy the moment.”
Tasha admits it took her awhile but she eventually listened to the staff’s advice, studied hard in school and used sports as a way to feel better about herself.
“BCC was the best environment for me when I needed it most,” says Tasha, who graduated from BCC in 2009 and now lives on her own in an apartment near BCC’s Baltimore campus. “They gave me the support I needed to be successful. If you work with them, BCC can change your life.”
This story originally appeared in BCC’s 2014 Annual Report. Click here to see all annual reports.
Read more from Latasha’s story: BCC is a ‘lifesaver’ for college graduate