Author Archive

Graduate Spotlight: I Was Supported The Whole Way

DATE: JULY 1, 2021 College isn’t for everybody, right? Some people should go, but others just aren’t cut out for it. That’s the conclusion Skyler Coffman arrived at when his first attempt at college didn’t pan out. But Skyler is now a college graduate with a great job. As a Senior Ops Technical Support Specialist […]

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Top 5 Advanced Manufacturing Companies

PUBLISHED JUNE 10, 2021 Is getting a degree in Advanced Manufacturing (AM) worth the next two years of your life? The short answer is YES! Capital IDEA has done the research. Every degree program we sponsor has to meet several criteria before we can add them to the Career Expressway and offer them as FREE […]

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Graduate Spotlight: Be Your Own Hero

PUBLISHED MAY 27, 2021 Alumnus, Jason Lopez, shared the following remarks with Capital IDEA’s long-time supporter, the Sooch Foundation, during a virtual site visit on April 28, 2021. Jason was also featured in an episode of KLRU Austin PBS’s docu-series American Graduate: Getting To Work that aired in November 2019. Click here to watch »  […]

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Graduate Spotlight: His Next Big Goal

PUBLISHED APRIL 8, 2021 Alpha Diallo’s life has been shaped by goals. Some he set for himself and others his parents set for the family. When he was 13, Alpha’s parents emigrated with him and his siblings from Guinea West Africa to France. Their primary goal was to escape dangerous circumstances and reach safety, but […]

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Partner Spotlight: Our Nurses Aren’t Just Tired — They’re Exhausted

PUBLISHED FEBRUARY 3, 2021 “There’s a real problem here. Why aren’t we solving it?” When she agreed to take on the project, research fellow Sherry Sybesma had no idea there was a problem at all. But after a year spent digging into the complex issues surrounding our region’s nursing shortage, she couldn’t help but sound […]

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Graduate Spotlight: One Family, Three Degrees and Counting

PUBLISHED DECEMBER 9, 2020 When Juana Patino decided to go to college, she had no idea the kind of ripple effect it would have on her family. As of this post, three of the Patino siblings, Juana, Araceli, and Maria Laura, have all graduated from college with degrees in healthcare and IT. A fourth sister, […]

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Graduate Spotlight: I Was Called To This

PUBLISHED NOVEMBER 12, 2020 Vision. Perseverance. Support. For Shirlet Oriakhi, these were the things that helped her achieve great things in her life. Inspired by her mother who had a gift for passing on wisdom and knowledge, Shirlet, from an early age, cultivated a vision for herself that included helping others through nursing or teaching. […]

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Graduate Spotlight: From Struggling Student To Professor

PUBLISHED OCTOBER 29, 2020 “The only limits are the ones I create in my mind.” Teresa Garza proclaims these words as she remembers the long journey that brought her to where she is today. From academic probation to a college professor, she never imagined her career would lead her to academics. “I didn’t plan to […]

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Graduate Spotlight: Nursing Shoes Are A Big Deal

PUBLISHED OCTOBER 14, 2020 The start of the 2020-21 school year is unlike anything we could have imagined. The classroom has been replaced by a computer screen, and schools are faced with new challenges as they try to create the best learning environment for their students. For teachers like Lori Lucas, adapting to a new […]

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Partner Spotlight: Seeds of Strength

PUBLISHED AUGUST 13, 2020 “Women coming together to make a difference.” This statement sits atop the Seeds of Strength (SoS) website, a giving circle based in Georgetown, Texas. It is a strong statement that perfectly describes the core of who SoS is, and what they’re all about. This group of women, ranging in ages from […]

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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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A Letter From Our Leaders

PUBLISHED JUNE 5, 2020 The deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Michael Ramos, and so many, many others confront us forcefully and inescapably with the violent racism endured by our Black neighbors, colleagues, students, friends, and family. We must not forget. It demands that we listen deeply and attentively. We must act. We, as individuals […]

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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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Partner Spotlight: Gray & Becker, P.C.

PUBLISHED MARCH 13, 2020 Nonprofits do great work that can benefit an entire community. In doing so, they sometimes face unique situations and challenges for which trusted legal counsel becomes indispensable. When you think of a nonprofit, their need for legal guidance may not immediately come to mind. Still, it is vital from day one. […]

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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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