Persistence Pays Off For NFJP Client

Previously published in the Proteus May 2016 Newsletter

After a series of referrals and one phone call, Tylar H. contacted the Proteus Inc. office in Kokomo, Indiana. He was unsure if Proteus could help him, but was willing to take the chance.

TylarHe had graduated from Ivy Tech Community College with a degree in Criminal Justice and was starting his journey to the Indiana State Police Academy. The fact that he speaks three languages, graduated Ivy Tech with honors, and was a member of Phi Theta Kappa was incredible when you consider he was working and volunteering in the community while attending school. His hard work in high school, college, and volunteer work had finally paid off. He was achieving a goal he had set many years ago. The Indiana State Police Academy wanted HIM. Tylar knew the police academy training is intense and lasts several months, but through online classes he still wanted to extend his education at Ivy Tech Community College in order to further educate himself in criminal justice and the law.

However, after paying his way through college, Tylar simply did not have the funds to pay for the additional costs of living, equipment, and supplies he needed for the State Police Academy, as well as his upcoming career costs. His hard work and efforts seemed to simply not be enough.

Because of his farmworker and life experiences, he was eligible for the National Farmworkers Job Program. His excitement and gratitude for the funding that would allow him the ability to obtain the gear and supplies he needed was incredible. While information gathering and contact was difficult given the intensity of the academy, his approval was finalized and he became a Proteus client. Through a series of Sunday afternoon conversations and meetings, he received funds that have allowed him to progress in his education, continue in the academy, and pay his travel expenses, as well as purchase the supplies that he will need. He will graduate and be inducted into the Indiana State Police in May 2016.

Tylar is attending school to earn a position on the Indiana State Police force. Here he looks out over the fields that made him.

His drive to progress himself and his community is amazing and is instantly recognizable. The fact that he has been able to development a goal, maintain the steps in order to accomplish his goal, and achieve so much in such a short period of time has allowed him to develop into an amazing individual who will serve his community and state well. His strength and endurance through work and school allowed him to identify with the public, which he so wishes to protect and serve.

The work of Proteus employees on Tylar’s behalf is a testament to the life changing ability that Proteus has on the farmworkers and their lives. Additionally, the changes that Proteus provides goes beyond out clients and extends throughout our community, state, and the future of the many individuals that will be touched by our clients achievements.

Success Story: Nilsa Rodriguez

A former Proteus client, Nilsa Rodriguez, is having great success with her new business: “Fiesta Super Movil” or “Party on Wheels”. The event planning and recreation business started with the assistance of Proteus partner, the Nebraska Rural Enterprise Assistance Program (REAP) Program. Anna Santos, case manager in Columbus, Nebraska, tells this story:

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Nilsa lives in Schuyler and spent many years working as a seasonal farmworker for Monsanto. She had dreams for herself that started with becoming a Proteus client. Nilsa began taking English as a second language (ESL) classes and was conversant enough to move onto the next step. She explored occupations and was thinking about becoming a certified nursing assistant (CNA), but eventually she realized that she was an entrepreneur at heart.

As her case manager, I helped Nilsa make the connection with the REAP Program. REAP provides the business education and financing needed by budding business people. It is a “mini-incubator of rural entrepreneurs.”

After completing her REAP classes, Nilsa was able to take her idea of becoming a party planner and turn it into a real business. Armed with a business plan, insurance knowledge, accounting and tax systems information, and a support system to be there for questions going forward, Nilsa was ready!

With a grant from REAP, Nilsa was able to purchase bouncy houses, tables and chairs. She was also able to put a building on her property to store supplies and decorations. She even purchased a trailer so that she could move her equipment from place to place. Currently “Fiesta Super Movil” – “Party on Wheels” is doing well enough that Nilsa can support her family, including a new baby born in 2015.

With the services provided by Proteus and REAP, Nilsa no longer has to spend her time laboring in the cornfields of Nebraska. She has the flexibility to be at home with her children while she operates a successful business in her community. And because of her determination to become bi-lingual with the help of Proteus and her ESL classes, Nilsa is not limited to doing business only with Spanish-speaking customers!

– See more at: http://www.proteusinc.net/2015/09/september-2015-newsletter/#party

Success Story: Caroline Garcia

Carolina Garcia
Certified Nursing Assistant
Miami-Dade County Florida Farmworker Career Development Program (FCDP)

Caroline GarciaCarolina is a shining star and a great example for her three children: Noel, Carolina and Alonzo. She grew up in a farmworker home and witnessed first-hand her mother’s dedication and hard work “to put food on the table.” Due to an early pregnancy, Carolina dropped-out of High school in 10th grade. She realized that education was the key to get ahead and offer a better future for her son. She returned to school, completed her studies, and graduated. “It took a little longer since I was supposed to graduate at the age of 17, but instead I graduated at 19; its better than never,” Carolina stated.

Carolina resides with her mother and sisters in order to save money. Her mother continues to work in agriculture and they financially struggle to make provisions for the entire family.

Carolina realized that in order for her to (1) provide for her children; (2) help with the household finances; and (3) continue her educational goals, she needed a different type of job. She decided to go to a local training center to obtain information. She received a flyer describing the Miami-Dade County Farmworker Career Development Program (FCDP). Carolina met with a Case Manager and enrolled in the program in August 2014. After a comprehensive assessment and the Case Manager’s professional assistance, she enrolled in the Certified Nursing Assistant program. By October 2014, Carolina completed the training, scheduled/passed the state examination, and received her CNA

In addition, Miami-Dade County’s FCDP provided Carolina with Employability Skills Training and job search assistance. In December 2014, Carolina secured employment as a Certified Nursing Assistant in a local nursing home. She was able to increase her monthly earnings by over $1500 and obtain health benefits. Her long-term goal is to obtain a Master’s Degree in Nursing and her short term goal is to enroll in either an RN or an LPN program.

“There are no excuses, I did it and I have 3 kids, so anyone can do it. I really appreciate all the great help I got from my Case Manager and the Farmworker Program because they helped me accomplish my goals. I wish the best for anyone else who gets the opportunity to further their education,” said Carolina.