Charlenes Story

Growing up on the south side of Syracuse, New York (a city with the highest concentration of Black and Hispanic poverty in the nation) Tarver watched her parents struggle to put food on the table for their four young children.   

  • Education was my way out of poverty— it led to economic stability. My father had a third grade education and my mom started taking nursing classes at the community college when I was fourteen.   That was my first exposure to what community college could mean to working families. It meant inclusion and that I didn’t have to live in poverty or raise my children in poverty.  
  • I would not have made it through high school, college or law school without Upward Bound and Higher Education Opportunity Programs. I was a smart kid, but I didn’t have resources. Opportunity programs are an investment in education and they make college and graduation attainable for ALL students.

Tarver earned her bachelor’s degree at NYU, a law degree at the University at Buffalo School of Law, and an LL.M. in Tax and CEBS from Georgetown Law. She began teaching at Phoenix College of Law in 2010 and Maricopa Community Colleges in 2017.   

  • I came to Maricopa Community College, because I knew I could make a difference with students "like me" that were desperately seeking to overcome obstacles.