Teacher standing in front of classroom

Name: Tametra J.
Member since: 2003

Tametra will forever remember Oct. 21, 2021. It’s the day her husband was diagnosed with lymphoma.

As a teacher at Booker T. Washington, Tametra worried about how they were going to pay for the cancer treatment. Each treatment cost them $5,000, even after health insurance paid its portion. Her husband had been living in Houston, so he moved back to Oklahoma so he could go through cancer treatment with the support of his family. Tametra took on every bit of extra work she could to get some extra money — teaching summer school and volunteering to be the yearbook advisor. In addition, she was the main caretaker for her husband and their two girls, now 9 and 5.

Eventually, her husband was cured from the cancer, but the follow-up continued. Each PET scan, occurring every 3-6 months, cost the family $2,300 after insurance.

“I was trying to stay afloat and not go bankrupt,” Tametra said.

Then a colleague told Tametra about TTCU’s Classroom Heroes grants. These grants are given to educators facing financial hardship. They’re designed to help keep Oklahoma teachers able to afford to stay in the classroom. Tametra applied and was given a grant.

“It helped pay for two scans and some miscellaneous other bills,” Tametra said. “I’m grateful we were able to receive this help. It truly was a financial blessing.”

Tametra's TTCU Journey

It wasn’t the first time TTCU had helped Tametra. In fact, the credit union had been part of her success since the very beginning. As a college student, Tametra came from a family that didn’t have a lot of money. She had lots of ambition and drive, but few resources.

“I wanted to change the world,” Tametra said. “I decided the best way is to help someone else, and who better to help than kids? They are our next generation.”

One semester, however, Tametra found herself about $1,000 short on the money needed for tuition.

“I was thinking, how am I going to pay this?” Tametra said. “Then I went to TTCU, and they told me I could take out a personal loan. It kept me in college.”

TTCU also assisted Tametra in buying a car after she graduated and secured her first teaching job at Carver Middle School. She taught there for thirteen years, spent some time in Houston, and later seized an opportunity to teach at Booker T. Washington, her and her husband's alma mater. Recently, she accepted a position at Tulsa Tech's Career Academy, teaching English and history to alternative education students. She’s still working to change the world, and TTCU’s been a part of it all.

“I am forever grateful to TTCU,” Tametra said.