Our Stories

Graduate Spotlight: She Just Needed An Opportunity

PUBLISHED JUNE 22, 2020 Tania Santiago-Kelly will do whatever it takes, going to extraordinary lengths to reach her goals and provide for her family. Over 14 years ago, Tania was living in Mexico with her son. In order to make ends meet, she worked three jobs. One of which paid her five dollars per day, […]

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Graduate Spotlight: This Is My Opportunity To Step Up

PUBLISHED APRIL 29, 2020 “If I have the skills, what am I doing sitting back?” There is a sense of purpose and conviction in Irene’s voice as she expresses that sentiment from her hotel room in New Jersey. Irene Reyna, Capital IDEA alumnae, just spent the day settling into what will be her new home […]

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Graduate Spotlight: If You Want to Be a Nurse — This Is the Time!

PUBLISHED APRIL 3, 2020 While many of us are sheltering-in-place at home, Ytzayana Macias puts on her scrubs and goes to work. She is a Medical Surgical Nurse at St. David’s South Austin Medical Center. “Feels a bit eerie. There are no visitors allowed in the hospital. We have been very intensely trained in personal […]

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Graduate Spotlight: Alondra Rodriguez, Aurora Alworth Spirit Award

PUBLISHED MARCH 13, 2020 This year’s Aurora Alworth Spirit award was given to Alondra Rodriguez. Although Alondra couldn’t be there in person to accept the award on March 5, 2020, she prepared and shared her story ahead of our event. About the Aurora Alworth Award:    skip to Alondra’s story The Aurora Alworth Spirit Award […]

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Graduate Spotlight: Aida Nacro, Mark Melliar-Smith Leadership Award

PUBLISHED MARCH 11, 2020 This spotlight is a transcript of the acceptance speech given by Aida Nacro at the Capital IDEA Celebration of Achievements luncheon on March 5, 2020. Aida received the Mark Melliar-Smith Leadership Award, presented by Alyssia Palacio-Woods. AWARD PRESENTATION   skip to Aida’s speech Hello, My name is Alyssia Palacio-Woods. I am President […]

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Graduate Spotlight: Hard Work Pays Off

PUBLISHED MARCH 11, 2020 This spotlight is a transcript of the keynote speech Jaime Martinez gave on March 5, 2020 at Capital IDEA’s Celebration of Achievements luncheon. When you look back at your life, who are the people that believed in you the most? My name is Jaime Martinez, and I have been fortunate enough […]

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Graduate Spotlight: Representing in Every Field

PUBLISHED FEBRUARY 19, 2020 Caprice Boxton is an Austinite through and through. Her family has lived here for generations, dating back to the late 1800s. Caprice says she “grew up in Austin living a normal life.”  She graduated from LBJ High School, and like a lot of people, she struggled to figure out what she […]

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Graduate Spotlight: They Found A Better Way

PUBLISHED JANUARY 17, 2020 Student loan debt is a real problem. According to a 2019 article in Forbes magazine, student loan debt in America has hit 1.5 trillion dollars.[1] Saddling new graduates with debt can have serious consequences for their futures. New graduates often have to settle for lower-paying jobs so they can start paying […]

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Graduate Spotlight: Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help

PUBLISHED DECEMBER 18, 2019 It was a long road for Lud Guerrero to get where she is now. In a society that values instant results, such as free 2-day shipping, and drive-thru windows, it takes a special kind of courage to keep fighting when things take longer than expected. Lud never expected to take such […]

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Season for Caring: Alicia Gonzales

PUBLISHED DECEMBER 4, 2019 This year Capital IDEA student, Alicia Gonzales, is a featured family in the Austin American Statesman Season for Caring. Since 1999, Statesman readers have generously donated more than 11 million dollars in cash and in-kind goods and services, all of which have benefited the featured families and hundreds of others like […]

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Student Journey: Child Care Doesn’t Need to Hold You Back

PUBLISHED NOVEMBER 20, 2019 When Melinda Sertuche decided to go back to school, her 8-year old daughter didn’t understand why. “It was hard for her at first, because it was new. I don’t have any family members that had gone to college, so it’s not something that’s a normal thing in my family.” For Melinda, […]

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Graduate Spotlight: Just Keep Showing Up

PUBLISHED OCTOBER 2, 2019 Amber Bothne’s journey through nursing school was anything but easy. “I felt like I was challenged every step of the way.” Her experiences during nursing school would have kept most people from finishing. Yet, while the obstacles kept piling on, Amber believed that if she just kept showing up, and did […]

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Graduate Spotlight: Giving Up Is Not An Option

PUBLISHED AUGUST 21, 2019 “You can’t give up.” Jessica Jaimes holds this motto close to her heart and strives to live it out on a daily basis. It would have been easy for her to give up, and after enduring what she described as a “horrible and abusive” relationship, and the added responsibility of raising […]

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Graduate Spotlight: I’m Not Going Down Those Old Roads

PUBLISHED APRIL 15, 2019 GRADUATE SPEAKER Jeremy spoke at Captial IDEA’s Celebration of Achievements in February 2019 and was featured in Capital IDEA’s 2018 Annual Report. Good afternoon, my name is Jeremy Acosta and I’m honored to be here as a Capital IDEA alumn and one of the first graduates to come from the IT […]

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