When Tisha Alleyne was a little girl in Brooklyn, she would visit her father at the hospital where he worked. Her dad worked in the admitting office at St. Mary’s in Crown Heights, but Tisha always found herself fascinated by the medical staff – the doctors and the nurses.
“When I would visit my dad, everyone who worked with him was so nice to me. They were always happy to see me,” she said. “I saw the ways that the nurses helped so many people, and I knew that’s what I wanted to be when I grew up.”
After school, she got a job working at the front desk of a physical therapy office. While she was there, she started taking some prerequisite courses that would prepare her for getting her nursing license. She then switched jobs, working for New York Foundling as a ward clerk.
New York Foundling is one of the city’s oldest child welfare agency, and Tisha worked with children who were in long-term care. As a ward clerk, she helped to schedule appointments and transportation for outside doctor’s visits for the youth.
Working at Foundling rekindled her desire to get her nursing license. She wanted to be able to help the children more directly, and she realized that all of her closest friends at work were nurses. So, she took a time off from work to get her certificate as a Licensed Professional Nurse. A year later, in 2007, she returning to New York Foundling as a nurse.
“I really enjoyed working with the kids every day,” she said. “Some of these children had little hope for survival when they were born, and then you get to watch them grow up. All of a sudden, they’re 10 and 11 years old, and you’re so proud of them, and they feel like a part of your family.”
When New York Foundling moved to a new location, Tisha started searching for a new job. A lifelong Brooklyn resident, she found a home at Children’s Aid working with youth in foster care in her borough.
“I heard nothing but good things about Children’s Aid, and I wanted to do something different,” she said. “I wanted to transition into more home visits and case management work.”
With Children’s Aid, Tisha makes sure that the medical needs for youth in foster care are met. She checks in with her young clients at least once a month, ensuring that they have everything they need to grow into healthy adults.
But for Tisha, nursing isn’t just about checking vital signs or administering medicine. For her, it’s about creating a bond with the children and families in her care.
“You grow a bond because you spend years with some of your families,” she said. “I’ve been here since 2017, and I have been with some families that entire time. I enjoy being able to be friends with the families and the children.”
Although her father has passed on, Tisha still keeps the rest of her own family close. Her mother, whom she cares for, lives with her. And her five siblings and one daughter live nearby in Brooklyn. In both her life and her career, Tisha feels like she’s right where she belongs.