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Tesa’s Story

I grew up in Mineral Wells as the youngest of my siblings. My family life growing up wasn’t the best. My stepdad was an alcoholic and my mom worked all the time to support our family.

I had to pay for everything myself because my family didn’t have any savings. It was hard, but I really felt like phlebotomy school was my first, real, accomplishment.

Although I had my phlebotomy certificate, I couldn’t afford to buy a house or other necessities for living. So, I enrolled in Weatherford College to complete my Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) degree and, eventually, become a Registered Nurse. To cover expenses, I applied for a loan and quickly found myself in serious debt.

I got some financial aid, but it only covered 50 percent of my tuition. I was saving up for a house, and I just thought, well, there goes that dream.

I heard about Catholic Charities during my orientation, so I dug out the flyer I had been given, and this where what I like to call my ‘God-moment’ occurred. The name on the back was a name I knew well.

In 2013, I had gone to college with a woman named Evonne Scott. I thought to myself, this can’t be the same Evonne, but it was.

I immediately signed up for the Catholic Charities program and Evonne got to work right away. It was December – I wasn’t sure I would have money for my tuition by January and the school was about to go on winter break. Catholic Charities was able to cover some of my remaining tuition right away, and Evonne helped me apply for scholarships to cover the rest.



"Catholic Charities provided me with so much more than just helping me pay for school."

Both Yanelie and her twin sister were able to graduate fro

I’ve always been proud that I’ve been able to pay for my education, myself. I always thought of it as an investment in my life. Then, suddenly, Catholic Charities was also investing in me. And I just thought, I’ve got to show them their investment was worth it.

Catholic Charities provided me with so much more than just helping me pay for school.

I struggled with rent for a few months, but Catholic Charities was there to help. Thanks to them, my daughter and I had a roof over our heads, food in our bellies and everything else I needed to continue my education.

Then, on November 16, one month to-the-day before graduation, my car motor blew. My entire degree was at stake. Again, Catholic Charities came to the rescue. They helped me find a mechanic I could afford, and kept me calm while we explored every option we could.

While this was happening, I still had to study for my Boards and apply for jobs. I felt like everything was working against me. Through it all, Evonne was a shoulder for me to lean on, and kept me calm and focused.

She set up interviews with students that had already graduated, passed their Boards and gotten jobs. She walked me through how to negotiate my salary, how to counteroffer – skills that no one had ever taken the time to teach me before.

But it was the way Evonne helped me when I got really stressed that stands out to me the most. She calls it ‘Earthing’. It’s where you just go outside and you just ‘earth’.

I passed my boards at the end of last December and I received not one, but TWO, job offers. Eventually, I accepted a fulltime position in the OB department of a local hospital. I wanted to try something new, and Catholic Charities gave me the confidence that I could.

Success doesn’t just come from yourself. Success comes from the people around you that believe and support you. If I didn’t have the support of Catholic Charities, I would not have been successful in my educational journey.


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