In life things don’t always happen the way you’d expected or frankly wanted them to, but for Tara Roberts becoming an Ally in Thrive! seemed to fit the bill.
“I think definitely it was good timing for me, I always feel like if you’re going through a tough time the best medicine or therapy is to help other people,” said Roberts.
Tara Roberts is a mother of two who works for the Wamego School District as a physical therapist serving schools in Wamego, Rock Creek, and Wabaunsee. She’s always had a desire to help, which is what led her to The University of Kansas where she graduated with a bachelor's degree in physical therapy in 1987.
After graduating Tara continued working at the KU Medical Center where she spent the latter part of her time pursuing her bachelor’s degree, and coincidentally where her life took a very positive turn.
“I worked at the KU Med Center after graduation for about 2.5 years and actually is where I met my husband John, he was a patient of mine in the burn unit which was where I was working at the time.” said Roberts.
John and Tara eventually moved to Manhattan where he pursued a degree in the construction field and she began working for a local contracting company who placed her in various assisted living homes working as a physical therapist. As they built their life in Manhattan they added two children to their family in Dylan and Tessa as well.
In May of 2017 John lost a battle with cancer that left Tara leaning on family, friends, and her church for support as she grieved the loss. But she also felt that desire she’s always felt, the desire to help others and that’s where her involvement with Thrive! began.
“It had kind of been on my radar for a while, and a good friend of mine (Tana Warner) had become involved with Thrive! and she convinced me to volunteer and get involved with the organization and I’ve been involved ever since,” Tara said.
Now working with her second Leader, Tara knows the impact that Thrive! can and has had on Leaders who pursue completion of the program.
“I really like the principles behind Thrive! helping people get out of poverty but not in the traditional way, but instead the idea of helping people stand on their own two feet and giving them those resources and support and not just a quick fix. Really delving in and finding out what we can do to improve all areas of your life.”
Thrive! is designed to provide Leaders with the tools necessary to, well thrive in their environment and expose them to the numerous resources our community has to offer, but for Tara Roberts it’s more than just that.
“I would say Thrive! gives people hope. That’s what I really see as far as change. A lot of people that I see come in and I think they have just lost hope, they think that things can never get better, but they can.” said Roberts.
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