If you ask Tyanna Butler about her life, especially her most recent struggles, she’s a bit nervous, even timid about sharing the story about the day when her life turned upside down. But the moment her children enter the room, it’s a different story.
The York resident and mother of five is all smiles when her children enter the room, and a round of building blocks quickly turns into smiles, laughs and high-fives.
A few months ago, Tyanna found herself surrounded by chaos in her home, faced with the reality of taking care of her children on her own.
That was Tyanna’s low point.
She felt she had no choice but turn to her family, to her children’s teachers and to prayer to cope with the burden of a responsibility she wasn’t prepared to face on her own. Tyanna leaned heavily on her faith in God as well as on her own determination, not just for herself, but to show her children that progress can be made.
“I had to fight with my emotions,” she said. “There were days that I didn’t want to get out of bed, but I had to, in order to get my children to school. I was not going to let them miss school.”
Life has been on a rebound since Tyanna lost her job when Helen Thackston Charter School closed less than a year ago. Now, she works at a local clothing store a few days a week, but hopes someday to work with children – much in the way that her kids’ teachers at Community Progress Council’s Pre-K Counts program has benefited her children.
One of Tyanna’s children currently attends the pre-kindergarten program at Jackson Elementary School in York. Another child was enrolled in the program last year and is now in kindergarten but is still supported by CPC staff. She credits her children’s teachers for a lot of her recent progress. In the midst of her struggle, Tyanna realized that those teachers provided her kids with something that she sometimes didn’t have the energy or time to give – love.
“They are amazing,” she said about the teachers with an emotional grin. “They gave my kids love when I was too overwhelmed with keeping my family’s life in order.”
Several months after Tyanna’s life was thrown into chaos, she can look back and hope that her children noticed not only the struggle, but the adversity and determination that followed.
But Tyanna’s not quite finished yet. Owning her own home is now on her list.
“It’s coming,” she said with a look of determination.
UPDATE: Tyanna is now a part-time employee for the York City School District. In addition, Tyanna has started the process to becoming a business owner … as a jewelry maker. She’s taken a business course through the York County Economic Alliance, and is looking forward to getting her business up and running in York City.
Tyanna just completed CPC’s “Getting Ahead in a Just-Gettin’-By World,” part of the agency’s new Self-Sufficiency Program.
“I am excited and overwhelmed all at once,” she said.
Community Progress Council is excited that Tyanna continues her progress toward economic self-sufficiency, and CPC is thrilled to be part of her journey.