Support Spotlight: Career Navigators

September 27, 2021

Support Spotlight Series

For the second installment in our Support Spotlight series, we are highlighting our Career Navigators. It is one of the most important and unique forms of support that a student receives in the Career Expressway program. Keep reading to learn more about the role the support they provide.

“My Navigator never gave up on me. She kept calling me. At one point, I was out for a whole year, and if it weren’t for her, I probably would have never come back.”

– Juana Patino
Graduate Spotlight: One Family, Three Degrees, and Counting

Career Navigators

Every student in the Career Expressway has a unique set of challenges that they must overcome to get their degree and enter the professional workforce. For all, there is a financial barrier. For others, that’s combined with being a parent, or having a language barrier. And for some, it may be a confidence issue. To help them face their challenges, every student gets assigned a Career Navigator.

Similar to school counselors, Career Navigators advise students on coursework and provide resources to help with academic struggles. But our Career Navigators also go beyond the academic. Personal struggles can affect a student’s performance in school. That’s why a Career Navigator’s role in the Career Expressway program is so important. When a student informs their Navigator about a personal issue that could affect their academic goals, they search for ways to help that student. By providing support in this manner, they are able to help a student overcome obstacles that could prevent that student from getting their degree.

Career Navigators have helped so many of our students keep up with their classes and push through to graduation. Even when a student must step away from college due to personal reasons, Navigators stay the course and encourage individuals to come back to finish their degree. With this type of support, we’ve had tremendous success in helping individuals achieve their academic dreams.

Meet The Navigators

Theresa Soto, Career Navigator


Q: What is your role at Capital IDEA?
A: I am a Career Navigator who assists students in IT, CAD, and Trades (A/C, Heating, Automotive, Electronics Technician, Advanced Manufacturing, Solar, and the unions).

Q: What is your favorite quote?
A: I have a personal philosophy that I strive to live by: Carpe Diem, Seize the Day!

Q: What is a fun fact your students usually learn about you in the first semester or year?
A: I am a huge sports fan! My favorite time of year is football season in Fall and baseball season in the Spring! Oh, and I also love boxing and UFC.

Elida Guardia Bonet, Career Navigator


Q: What is your role at Capital IDEA?
A: I am a Career Navigator who assists students in College Prep and various Healthcare career tracks.

Q: What is your favorite quote?
A: I tell all my students to believe in themselves and be persistent. To take one day at a time. And then I share this quote with them: “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” -Lao Tzu

Q: What is a fun fact your students usually learn about you in the first semester or year?
A: I am a storyteller and a writer. And most recently I managed to take advantage of this COVID situation to get into mosaics! It’s something I had been wanting to do just never found the time to do it. And I love it!

Sara Hernandez, Career Navigator


Q: What is your role at Capital IDEA?
A: I am a Career Navigator who assists students in all of the Healthcare careers we support.

Q: What is your favorite quote?
A: I like to tell students that when difficult times arise you have the NO with you, now go for the YES! Ask for, look for, work for, and imagine the YES with you. Then GO and make it happen.

Q: What is a fun fact your students usually learn about you in the first semester or year?
A: My accent is usually one of the first things students notice, so I tell them: I do not think with an accent. It is a part of me, and you will get used to it.

Lia Paschal, Career Navigator


Q: What is your role at Capital IDEA?
A: I am a Career Navigator who assists students in Healthcare careers.

Q: What is your favorite quote?
A: I usually tell students: Don’t try to control the uncontrollable.

Sister Ane Nguyen, Career Navigator


Q: What is your role at Capital IDEA?
A: I am a Career Navigator who assists students in the ADN, ADN Mobility Track, and LVN Programs. Currently, I have 60 students I am responsible for.

Q: What is your favorite quote?
A: It’s not so much a quote but a motto: Be open to learning new things and take a risk. Never give up and seek help when needed. None of us is an island.

Q: What is a fun fact your students usually learn about you in the first semester or year?
A: I believe you have to love your career and be strong and steady to build a foundation under it. I have been with Capital IDEA for over 22 years and am dedicated to my students. I remember a student of mine that was with me for over 7 years! He just completed this summer, and he is so grateful that I did not give up on him. This is the same dedication that I promise to all my students.

We’re here for you! If you or someone you know has always dreamed of earning a degree but needs support to get there contact us today! We’re ready to help you reach your goals.

To apply, sign up for an info session: CareerUp »
For questions: 512-457-8610 or outreach@capitalidea.org
Quick links: Qualifications | Career Directory | FAQs


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