After Husband’s Untimely Death, Oakland Mom Raises 5 Kids and Advocates for Childhood Education

Tiffany enjoys spending as much quality time as she can with her five children. 

“I'm a big kid at heart so I love taking my kids to the movies. We go over to the park. We do skating together. I try to have dinner with my kids every night so we can discuss what their day looked like,” she shared. 

The San Leandro, California native lives with her children in Oakland, which is about a 15 minute drive north from her hometown. The family moved to Oakland in 2021.  

“I like the community that I'm in. I feel very supported here. It is a beautiful place. Some days when I get stressed out about being here, I actually look and see the hills and the beautiful greenery, and it makes it worth it,” she said. 

Her desire is to move into a larger home so she and her kids, two girls, and three boys, can feel less cramped.

“I moved into the Bay so we could have an actual house where there’s a backyard,” she added.

Tiffany is a passionate advocate for improving childhood education. “When I found out my 11-year-old has autism, Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, I became a little bit more active. I believe there should be no kids left behind. [They] deserve to get an education and to feel safe. I believe in standing up for kids,” she added.   

The family of six suffered a heartbreaking loss when Tiffany’s husband passed away in 2015. Now, she holds everyone together, alone. It became more difficult for the single mom to make ends meet recently after she lost government benefits due to her 19-year-old daughter obtaining a job. “I'm like, ‘You all cut me off right as she was starting!’ She was getting a new position only because she wasn't making enough.”  

Tiffany is very intentional about improving her family’s financial outlook. 

“I paid off a couple things, so my credit is going up. UpTogether made me feel like I'm not the only one in a hardship in life that has goals,” she said before sharing that she also celebrates the wins of fellow UpTogether members. “It's… a motivation for me. Other people reaching goals, being able to keep their lights on or their house or get their kids (some) school clothes.”  

When her family’s vehicle needed two new tires, Tiffany felt relieved to be able to purchase a new pair. “These extra funds, instead of just using them anywhere, I wanted them to have a purpose for me.”

Although Oakland is not her hometown, Tiffany relishes in the support she feels from her community. “To me, it's a forgotten city. And [there’s] so much beauty here in Oakland, but you can't see it if you're just looking at what's right in front of you.” She has no immediate plans of leaving the Golden State and she consciously decides to expand her social circle. “I've actually met some of the coolest people here… that are passionate about caring [about] how people live. Some days when I get stressed out about being here, if I'm driving and I actually look and see the hills and the beautiful greenery, it makes it worth it. I have to remind myself sometimes it's just the little things.”

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