Close this search box.
Meet Isata
Headshot of Isata from CISS's The Other Side Series.

Meet Isata


In 1999, Isata made the difficult decision to leave war-torn Liberia, her family, and the only home she has ever known to seek a better life in the United States. After an exhausting and emotional journey, she made her way to Des Moines, Iowa in 2007. It was here that she found work as a CNA, met her future husband, and began building the life she dreamed of. In 2009, she was officially married and enjoyed the highs of a new marriage and the endless possibilities of their future together.

Unfortunately, the highs turned into lows, and after eight years of a strained marriage, Isata and her husband divorced. Following the separation, Isata fell into very severe depression. She felt that her dream life was falling apart, and despite her efforts to battle her mental illness each day, she eventually became homeless.

Isata found CISS and began planning her next move. She decided she wanted to return to Liberia and reunite with her family. As the excitement built, she was made aware of some unsettling news. Isata learned that her mother had passed away. This devastating news was the exact type of trigger event that could send Isata back into the dark place she had just emerged from. Instead, she continued to rebuild her life with the help of CISS. Today, Isata can proudly say that she has her own apartment and is working towards building her career through our job training program. Isata’s vision of success includes owning her own home and reuniting with her remaining family in Liberia.

We also want to send a big thank you to THINK PHOTO LAB for these portraits as part of our makeover moment.