Tameka's Story

Mental health professional turns to retail therapy
By Shaquayla Mims

Tameka Young spent 15 years working as a mental health professional before deciding she was ready for a change of pace and environment. To stand out as a job-seeker, Tameka signed up for the NRF Foundation's Customer Service and Sales credential, after hearing about it through a RISE Up training and delivery partner. "When I had the opportunity to go through the Customer Service program, I jumped on it," said Tameka, "And, it's totally changed my life." While participating in the credential program, Tameka realized she was ready to try a different approach to improving mental health: retail therapy.

While working to complete the credential, Tameka recognized many of the skills she leveraged in her previous position were transferrable to the retail industry. "The training allowed me to bring everything that I utilized from my mental health career to help customers: compassion, empowerment, and customer service," she said. Before she knew it, she was embarking on a new career path.

Certified with confidence and backed by the NRF Foundation Customer Service and Sales credential, Tameka landed an internship at Career Wardrobe, a non-profit focused on providing jobseekers with interview and employment attire. "I never thought I would have a career in retail, but I actually enjoy this... I love every minute of my job, and it's amazing that I get to do what I love."

Tameka was hired full-time as a Program Coordinator after completing her internship and credits the NRF Foundation training and credential program for a successful career transition. "I would definitely recommend the RISE Up program – it's the best thing that I've done," Tameka notes.

The NRF Foundation RISE Up training and credential program has trained more than 45,000 workers since its launch in January 2017. This program is one of many ways we help job-seekers take their first step towards promising careers. Get involved with the NRF Foundation today.