In the heart of Downtown Rock Island, our newest Local 4 News reporter Tahera Rahman is making history and breaking barriers.

It all started years ago after several internships, that’s when Tahera figured out TV news was her real passion.

“I didn’t have anyone who looked like me on TV, so I never really thought it was a possibility,” said Tahera.

After years of rejection from news stations across the nation, Tahera decided to put TV reporting on hold and took a job as a news producer behind the scenes at our Local 4 news station in the Quad Cities.

Tahera’s friend and co-worker Rachel Taylor told us, while Tahera was working behind the scenes, she never gave up on her dream.

“She would come in on the weekend and that’s her day off but she really wanted this,” Taylor said.

Tahera continued to work on her reporting skills during her free time.

“I was like, someday, someone is going to notice the work I’m putting in and give me a chance,” Tahera said.

That day came this week.

On Wednesday, Tahera made her on-air debut, breaking barriers in the TV news industry.

Chicago radio news anchor Mariam Sobh has been trying to make the transition from radio to TV news for more than 13 years.

“I’ve tried for years to meet with news directors in the city and it always comes down to the headscarf,” Sobh said. “Nobody is willing to just put me on air and say, ‘You know what, you’re a good journalist.'”

With the help of Mariam and The Muslim American Women In Media group, we believe Tahera is now the first full-time reporter who is a Muslim woman to wear a hijab on mainstream TV news in the United States.

“I can’t say that I know of a single person that wears a headscarf that’s not an actress portraying a part,” said Sobh. “I’m talking like a news anchor or TV reporter, that has never been done on U.S. television.”