Capital IDEA Blog

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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Partner Spotlight: St. David’s Foundation

PUBLISHED NOVEMBER 6, 2019 If you live in the Austin area, but haven’t heard of the St. David’s Foundation, there’s a good chance you’ve seen their funding at work. Perhaps you’ve taken a stroll on the Ann and Roy Butler Hike and Bike Trail over Lady Bird Lake in downtown Austin, for which they were […]

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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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Partner Spotlight: Hindu Charities for America

PUBLISHED SEPTEMBER 4, 2019 Education is a powerful thing. It can open doors that were once thought to be non-existent, and it can change the trajectory of a person’s life. The people at Hindu Charities for America (HC4A) know this and believe it wholeheartedly because they lived it. “Most of us came to this country […]

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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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Published: Capital IDEA’s 20th Anniversary Annual Report

Dear Friends, This past year, Capital IDEA celebrated 20 years of lifting adults out of poverty and into living wage careers through education. As an avid runner, I can say that leading Capital IDEA these past two decades has been much like a marathon with progress coming one step at a time. We’ve not only […]

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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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Published: Capital IDEA’s 2017 Annual Report

Highlights From an Oustanding Year 2017 ANNUAL REPORT Capital IDEA’s 2017 Annual Report is now available online. We are proud to share these highlights from an outstanding year of lifting working adults out of poverty and into living wage careers through education. We hope you enjoy reading about student successes because this report is chock-full […]

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Partner Spotlight: A Day in the Community with United Way of Williamson County

Capital IDEA is honored to be a grantee of the United Way of Williamson County. UWWC unites people and organizations to build stronger communities and improve lives. By stabilizing families, helping kids succeed academically, and empowering good health, United Way is working towards a community where people thrive, lead healthy lives, and everyone has the […]

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Escalating Gains: The Full Report

Dear Friends, We are pleased to share the below report with you. The success of any workforce development program is cause for celebration, and we are especially thrilled for the success of Project QUEST. The leaders of COPS/Metro and the San Antonio business community generously shared the Project QUEST model with Austin Interfaith and business […]

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Published: Capital IDEA's 2016 Annual Report

As Capital IDEA approaches its 20th year, we are seeing impacts extend beyond simply good careers for our graduates and new skilled workers for the economy. We celebrated our 1300th graduate last year, Amy Lopez-Escobedo—she not only has gone from struggling in unskilled, low-income jobs to becoming a Registered Nurse, she has now become a […]

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Partner Spotlight: Central Health & our 1,300th Graduate!

Hello, my name is Amy Lopez-Escobedo, and I am a proud Capital IDEA graduate, mother of three, and Registered Nurse at CommUnity Care. I always felt destined to become a nurse. Since I was little, my mom noted I had a caring nature and would try to help people when they weren’t well. Knowing my […]

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Partner Spotlight: Austin Community College ACCelerator – UPDATED

ACC Expands Career ACCelerator Program June 2016 JPMorgan Chase & Co. has donated $250,000 to fund scholarships for adult students entering ACC’s Career ACCelerator Program—combining instruction with financial assistance, support services, and paid internships to help adults train for high-demand occupations. The Chase donation will fund scholarships for 100 students. “Creating a hands-on learning experience […]

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