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Yanelie’s Story

For Yanelie, obtaining her LVN (Licensed Vocational Nurse) meant a fresh start. A lifelong resident of Graham, her family didn’t have much money growing up. Neither of her parents completed college. Life wasn’t always easy, but she always had her family to help her through.

Since Yanelie was a young girl, she and her twin sister had taken care of their grandmother. After her grandmother passed away, Yanelie knew she wanted to be a nurse, so she could continue to care for people the same way she did for her

“I was inspired by my grandma and my goal was to get my bachelor’s in nursing and work in geriatrics.”

So, she enrolled in dual credit college courses her junior and senior years of high school and enrolled in North Central Texas College (NCTC) Graham after graduation.

But constant anxiety and financial trouble weighed heavily on Yanelie. When her older sister and cousin, both of whom had also gone through the Catholic Charities program, reminded her about Education Navigation, Yanelie knew it was the answer she was looking for.

Her Navigator, Kristi, became a mentor for her. From budgeting to FAFSA, Kristi kept Yanelie on track. When Yanelie’s dad was in a car accident earlier this year and couldn’t work, it was Kristi who helped Yanelie manage her finances so that she could still afford tuition.

“I’d feel lost without Kristi (Client Navigator). She played a big role in helping me finish this program. I’d tell her I’m stressed and she helped introduce me to different stress exercises. She’s like a role model and encourages me to keep going.” 

"I was inspired by my grandma and my goal was to get my bachelor’s in nursing and work in geriatrics."

Both Yanelie and her twin sister were able to graduate from NCTC Graham in August of 2023, thanks to Catholic Charities’ Northwest Campus.
“It’s a great program, and I’m glad to be a part of it.” For Yanelie, her future is in Graham and her community, which she says means everything to her. She hopes to become a Registered Nurse (RN), and credits the support of Catholic Charities with making her dream a reality.

“Once I complete my LVN, I am going to get the rest of my prerequisites out of the way so I can start my next journey of becoming an RN. I am beyond excited to start a job after I pass my NCLEX (state board exam). I am so excited to see what is in store for me.”

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