Tynesha Ferrell and her daughters
Tynesha Ferrell, Project Lift participant, and her daughters.
(John Johnston / United Way of Greater Cincinnati)

A Heart for Helping Others

New nursing grad overcomes obstacles with help from United Way's Project LIFT.
January 8, 2024

CINCINNATI (Jan. 8, 2024) — Tynesha Ferrell wore white scrubs and a broad smile for her pinning ceremony, the traditional initiation into the nursing profession.

The Oct. 27 ceremony, held at Dayspring Church of God in Forest Park, marked a significant milestone for the 34-year-old mother of two. It allowed her to celebrate the success brought about by her hard work, determination and sacrifice.

Fittingly, the ceremony was held in a church. God, she says, is at the center of her life. "The gifts he's given me include my loving heart and a desire to help others."

To reach her goals, she has humbly accepted help, including from United Way's Project LIFT. The family-driven program works with partner organizations to offer critical short-term assistance and flexible resources designed to help families achieve long-term success.

In addition to helping pay Tynesha's school fees, Project LIFT twice assisted with rent payments.

"It made a big difference," she says. "It helped me tremendously."

Tynesha's journey toward self-sufficiency began seven years ago when she left an unhealthy marriage. With two children to support, she enrolled in a 26-week course to become a certified medical assistant, or CMA.

She juggled parenting duties while attending CMA classes two nights a week and working at a call center during the day. Then, after working several years as a CMA, her ambition drove her to go further and pursue a nursing degree.

She recalls looking in a mirror and telling herself: I am strong. I am beautiful. And I am enough. I can do it all.

Still, she faced many obstacles. Her car needed repairs. She caught COVID-19 twice, once serious enough to require a call to 911. Her children also got sick and missed significant school time.

Finances were tight. She explained to her children that they couldn't afford to do the fun things other families enjoyed.

Through it all, her kids, now 13 and 11, brought home A's and B's on their report cards. Tynesha also excelled academically, earning a spot on her school's President's List.

Now, obstacles have given way to opportunities.

"It feels like every hurdle I had to jump over was worth it," she says. Having successfully completed a practical nursing program, she is studying for the licensed practical nurse exam. And she is poised to pursue not just a job, but a career.

"Project LIFT was a part of my success," Tynesha says. "It's an absolutely wonderful program."

UPDATE: Tynesha received word on Feb. 4, 2024, that she passed her licensing exam and earned the title of licensed practical nurse. 


Support Programs Like Project Lift


Project Lift supports families on their journey to financial stability. Project Lift sponsors listen to each families’ challenges, find ways to leverage resources to assist them with short-term needs – rent, food, child care, utilities, transportation, etc. – and provide an ongoing support system as they work to increase their incomes and build long-term economic well-being.


United Way of Greater Cincinnati is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization [Tax ID: 31-0537502]. Contributions are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.

Support Programs Like Project Lift

An investment in United Way is an investment in your neighbors and your community.

Through programs like Project Lift, Free Tax Prep, Success By 6® and our 211 Helpline, we strive to help families and individuals in our region have a better chance at economic well-being.

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