Where Are They Now? – Tara Barr

My name is Tara Barr and I was NJCTS Youth Advocate of the Year & a scholarship recipient in 2019. I was diagnosed with Tourette Syndrome at seven years old and became involved with NJCTS in 2012.  At that time, I participated in the NJCTS walks and in 2016, I served as Co-Chair for the Bergen County walk.  I am a 3-time attendee of the Tim Howard Leadership Academy & am currently serving on the 20th anniversary gala committee.

In May 2023, I graduated from William Paterson University with a Bachelor of Science in Public Health Promotion. I am now a full-time graduate student (at the same university) pursuing a Master of Public Health (MPH). When I’m not studying, I spend my time living life in my twenties and hanging out with my best friends and family.  Much of my free time is spent raising my 3 year old black lab named Paisley.  I also love to read and craft.  I enjoy creating items with my cricut machine. As a side gig, I also walk dogs in and around my town.

I had the best experience being a Youth Advocate traveling to DC, educating and spreading awareness in schools and hospitals. This led to my love of public health and ultimately my choice of study.  Knowing that I can help make a difference in someone’s life is amazing.

Navigating college and adulthood with Tourette Syndrome has had its fair share of challenges.  I have noticed my tics have improved over the last 4/5 years. When I was a teenager, I wouldn’t be able to go 5 minutes without twitching.  As an adult, I can sometimes go all day. I definitely still have little tics though! Growing up, my main tics were vocal. I believe growing up with TS has made me a stronger person. I have always been the only one in my class or school to have TS. It helped shape me into the person I am today. I have met many friends through NJCTS and still stay in touch with those friends today. Being a Youth Advocate boosted my ability to communicate my feelings and speak up when needed. It also helped me understand why it’s so important to not hide because I have Tourette syndrome. Because of my involvement in NJCTS, I feel I am more confident today and grateful for the connections I’ve made throughout this journey.

To celebrate 20 years of NJCTS we will be showcasing 20 stories of adults with TS who were once involved in the organization and now all grown up! Stay tuned as we share all of these incredible and successful stories!