Omaha is part of the global CreativeMornings community. This monthly breakfast lecture series is designed to highlight our creative community and adds to Omaha’s strong arts and culture scene and growing reputation.

After our August event, we caught up with attendee Tierra O’Neal.

By JoAnna LeFlore

Meet Tierra O’Neal, a spirited local creative who charms you with her wit, artistic appreciation and passion for youth outreach. As the Branching Out Independent Living Program manager at Omaha Home for Boys, Tierra literally lights up when she talks about the work that holds her heart and feeds her soul.

She begins with the motivation for youth advocacy: “My impact would be to encourage and help our youth flourish into the leaders they are meant to be, by helping them remove barriers and connecting them to community resources.”

What an inspiring vision she has. She remains even more inspired ever since attending her first CreativeMornings session.

“Mike Smith was my first event, I was inspired due to the homeless youth population that he serves. A lot of homeless youth are former foster care youth and have experienced homelessness at one time or another. I am also very passionate about this,” Tierra explained.

“I work with current and former wards of the state between the ages of 14-24 that have experienced foster care. The focus is on their self-sufficiency and permanency in the areas of housing, employment, education and transportation,”

With a creative passion to encourage others, Tierra aims to help by connecting people while role modeling life in an optimistic manner. Tierra lives out this motto graciously. She brings a smile to the room whenever she enters and is often caught at community events networking and giving hugs. Essentially no one is a stranger to her because she can recognize the talents in others so easily.

“We should celebrate one another’s uniqueness with verbal praise on a regular basis! I make it my business to daily give compliments to people I don’t know, especially when working and or in the community.”

As you begin to understand Tierra’s personality, you might glean from her own inspiration, which comes from Ella Baker. For Tierra, Ella Baker is a cultural leader who was an advocate for freedom and justice. If you don’t know about Ms. Ella, you should Google her after you read this. Trust us, it is worth the 10 minutes of your life and we promise you’ll be inspired!

While Tierra is definitely growing her circle for youth advocacy, being connected to a creative community is still a priority for her.

“Being part of a creative community is very important to me because I feel that we are at a crucial time within our state where we are expanding, and in order to evolve efficiently we need to be able to collaborate effectively.”

Tierra definitely gets it. We’ve just got to find more ways to work together and be creative about doing it! If you’d like to collaborate with Tierra, you can catch her out in the community at local concerts or reach out to her via the CreativeMornings platform. We hope to see you at the next event!