We create real impactful change in our community.
Community Thrives Grantee
2018 Luncheon Video
Nicole Buenrostro – Succeeding Despite Adversity
Life is full of challenges and opportunities. In 2009, I found myself a single mother of four beautiful children who was struggling to go back to school. I wanted to earn a degree as a Registered Nurse (RN). However, trying to go to school and support my family was almost impossible. We lost all of our furniture and our car was repossessed. Eventually, we found ourselves homeless. By the grace of God, I found support in my community. QUEST career advisors connected me to community service organizations that provided shelter for my family, as well as financial support to purchase a car and medicines for my sick children. Through the encouragement I received from QUEST staff and members of my church, I was able to finally complete my program and earn my RN degree. Soon I will find the perfect work opportunity. Adversity is a beautiful part of life. However, it is not our circumstances that define us, but rather how we DEAL with adversity. I trust that God has a plan for us and through Him, anything is possible.
Robert Lloyd – Finding New Hope in an IT Career
I have faced a number of challenges throughout my life. I originally attended the Art Institute, but was unable to finish due to my grandfather’s passing. He was my only support system at the time. I decided to move to San Antonio and was quickly drawn to the Open Cloud Academy and the training they offer. I enrolled with Project QUEST and received assistance in training for Linux Systems Administration. I did not have any industry recognized certifications at the time. The support of Project QUEST enabled me to attend Rackspace Open Cloud Academy, an eight-week information technology training opportunity that provided Red Hat Certified System Administrator training. I began my training in September 2015 and completed the program in December 2015. Today, I am proudly employed at Rackspace. Without Project QUEST and funding from the City of San Antonio and the U.S. Department of Labor, it would have been incredibly difficult to achieve my educational and career goals.
Jessica Lopez – A Nurse’s Compassion Inspired My Career Path
I always knew I wanted to be a nurse. When my grandmother was sick in the hospital there was one specific nurse who stood out among the rest because she showed genuine compassion. I still have that vivid memory of my mother crying about my grandmother’s illness and the nurse hugging her while listening and trying to give reassurance. I knew then I wanted to be like her. I went to college straight out of high school, but I was unsuccessful. Eventually I started over at San Antonio College and applied to Project QUEST. They were there to guide me through every single step. QUEST also helped financially by paying half of the tuition and all of the supplies, books, and fees. The weekly Vision, Initiative, and Perseverance (VIP) meetings were always informative and helpful. My career advisors kept me on track. With the support of QUEST and the encouragement of my family, I was able to pass my National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) on the first try! My husband and I have since purchased a home, and little by little, our financial situation is improving. I love my job as a Registered Nurse with CHRISTUS Santa Rosa Healthcare and have recently been accepted into their amazing “Versant Program.” CHRISTUS helped me transition into my new role with the assistance of classes and my awesome preceptor. I truly believe in our mission statement, “To extend the healing ministry of Jesus Christ” and I live by it every day. I get lots of compliments from patients and their families, stating that I am “professional, encouraging, calm, and witty.” I know my compassion shows through my work every day.
Clarissa Martinez – Childhood Dreams Do Come True
I was born and raised in Weslaco, Texas and when I was old enough to do so, I volunteered at the local hospital where I discovered my passion for nursing. After my first shift I told my mother, “I know what I want to be when I grow up. I want to be a nurse, care for sick babies, and work my way up to be a charge nurse.” I envisioned my future working in a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). After high school, I moved to San Antonio and enrolled in the San Antonio College of Nursing. I was ecstatic, but also worried about being able to afford school, books, and my bills. I was also working full-time. A co-worker told me about Project QUEST and my life changed forever. The next two years were the hardest of my life, filled with sleepless nights, crying from being stressed out, and wanting to drop out. If not for my family, my faith, and my Project QUEST career advisor, I would not be where I am today. I graduated from nursing school in October 2014, accepted my first nursing job at University Health Systems (UHS) in November 2014, and learned that I passed the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) on Thanksgiving Day. That was appropriate since I had so much to be thankful for. There’s nothing more rewarding than seeing a healthy baby leave the NICU when they had a 50% chance of survival upon their arrival. I’m making a difference and touching lives every day. My work is not just a job for me, it is my dream.
Papy Muco – Escaping a Civil War to Better My Family
I have been in the U.S. for eight and half years. I came here as a refugee with my family. I was born and raised during the Democratic Republic of Congo’s civil war which is still going on. I lost my mother when I was six-years-old and two years later, my father remarried. In 1998 the civil war became intense and my family had to flee from our home. Three years later, my father passed away leaving seven children and my step-mom, who was pregnant with twins. In 2004 we lived in a refugee camp that was attacked by rebels; I was injured during the attack and one of my younger brothers lost his life. We came to live in San Antonio in 2007. We didn’t know English or anyone. By the grace of God, I found a job and a few months later, my step-mom did as well. I paid for ESL classes with the money I earned bussing tables at a restaurant. Life became more challenging and I dropped out of school to get a second job. I persevered and was able to finish my ESL classes. We were not financially stable until Project QUEST came to my rescue. QUEST paid half of my tuition, the full cost of my books and uniforms, school supplies and provided gas money. At one point during the program I struggled in some classes, but QUEST provided tutoring and I was able to successfully pass all my courses. Thank you Project QUEST! I am now an RN. I am financially independent, have bought a house, and have the full potential to keep up with my education. I would like this program to stay so other people can get help. QUEST not only helps QUESTers, but also benefits the entire nation.
Aubrey Moore – Charting a New Course into IT
Before I found Project QUEST, I was working in the food service industry and pursuing an engineering degree. I was in a major car accident and my life underwent some major changes. Because of the injuries I suffered, I was no longer able to work in a labor intensive field. That is when I enrolled in Project QUEST and pursued a career in Linux Systems Administration. I did not have any industry recognized certifications, and thus pursued a partnership with Project QUEST to attend the Rackspace Open Cloud Academy Linux for Ladies. This eight-week information technology training opportunity provides Red Hat Certified System Administrator certification. I started my training June 1, 2015 and graduated on July 24, 2015 obtaining my Red Hat Certified Systems Administrator certification. I am now working at Rackspace as a Linux Administrator. Without Project QUEST and funding from the City of San Antonio and the U.S. Department of Labor, I would no