Tag Archives: Valley Initiative for Development and Advancement

VIDA Receives State Training Grant

VIDA training

Valley Initiative for Development and Advancement is one of 44 Texas nonprofits recently receiving recognition from Texas Mutual for its initiatives in workforce development. VIDA’s $41,667 grant from Texas Mutual will go towards workforce development, training VIDA students in target demand occupations. “We are immensely thankful to Texas Mutual Foundation for selecting VIDA as one of its grant recipients during COVID-19 recovery,” said VIDA Deputy Executive Director Felida Villarreal. “Career…

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Another Journey Begins With VIDA

Mariana Lozano

Growing up, Donna resident Mariana Lozano watched how hard her parents worked and yet how they struggled just to make ends meet. As she watched, she made plans. Her plans were to finish college so she could help them as her family’s first college graduate. “A friend told me I needed to apply to VIDA,” Lozano said.  VIDA is the Valley Initiative for Development and Advancement. The nonprofit organization was…

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Nursing A Dream Into Reality

Cristina Martinez

Growing up, Cristina Martinez witnessed her mom’s financial struggle and her resilience every day. Martinez’ mom did not graduate from high school, and yet, as a single mother with three children, she had to find a way to provide for them. “She worked as a custodian for many years to be able to provide,” Martinez said. In January 2020, Martinez, a resident of Pharr, was earning $10.50 an hour working…

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Nurse Gives Back After Receiving So Much

After passing the National Council Licensure Examination, Gilda Lee Sauceda worked at Fresenius Kidney Care before choosing to become a traveling dialysis nurse.

When you learn, teach. When you get, give.  ~Maya Angelou Weslaco native Gilda Lee Sauceda grew up with a single mom who became disabled when her daughter was just 10 years old. She felt grateful that they had a roof over their head and their basic necessities, but the struggles were real. The labels were there — eighth-grade drop-out, GED holder, low-income — but Sauceda did not allow labels to…

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Life-Changing Decision Leads To Nursing Career

Maria Delgado

When McAllen resident Maria Delgado first applied to the Valley Initiative for Development and Advancement in 2012 after learning about it from an outreach counselor at South Texas College, the VIDA staff knew she was an excellent candidate. Delgado was a single mother with two daughters, ages 11 and 5, unemployed and on public assistance and a first-generation college student. She served in the National Guard for two-and-a-half years. But…

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Clearing Hurdles For A Brighter Future

Rosalinda Castillo

Rosalinda Castillo had her sights on her goal of becoming a registered nurse but she also saw the hurdles she would have to face to get there. “There are many people with bright minds out there who do not have the financial means to study a career they wish to fulfill,” Castillo said. She understood full-time students best meet the demands of the nursing program at South Texas College, but…

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A Comeback Greater Than The Setbacks

Adela Tann

Adela Tann had her future all figured out. She completed the Patient Care Technician program at South Texas College in 2013 and enrolled in the college’s Vocational Nursing program, graduating in 2015. Next on her list was earning the title of registered nurse. But before she could pass the National Council Licensure Examination, Tann moved to Iowa to help care for her sister, who was diagnosed with terminal cancer. In…

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Making the Impossible Possible

Jorge Sanchez thought he had the perfect plan in place after graduating from high school. He earned a scholarship to St. Edward’s University in Austin, where he planned to major in biology with a concentration in biological sciences. But as he calculated the cost for tuition, room and board, and books, Sanchez realized this plan did not make financial sense. “Even though I was given a scholarship to study at…

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Overcoming Adversity for a Better VIDA

Eva Alvarado

When the staff at Valley Initiative for Development and Advancement think of Eva Alvarado, two words come to mind: perseverance and resilience. Alvarado is a divorced mother of three, two who are adults and now live on their own. Her youngest, a 14-year-old son, lives with her in Brownsville. Two years ago, her youngest was diagnosed with Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, dyslexia and autism. Alvarado quit working because he required all…

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