SER-Jobs for Progress—Improving Lives...One Job at a Time.

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Success Stories

Keith McCray

Just a little over a year ago, Keith McCray, 25, found himself in an unlikely situation.

Adrian Byrd

Adrian Byrd, 18, was a recent high school graduate with nowhere to go afterwards.  Adrian attended Bellaire High School Fall 2012 until his senior year of high school.

Victorya Thibodeaux

At a young age of 16/17, Victorya Thibodeaux lived with her parents in Ft. Bend county where she attended Marshall High School and became a mother for the first time.

Damarcus Savage

In high school, Damarcus Savage (now 22) was a well-rounded student - engaged in his studies, participated in sports, and held an after-school job.

Hilda Belmares

Hilda Belmares and her parents came to Houston by way of Matamoros, Mexico in search of better opportunities.

Josue Serrano

Josue Serrano’s immigrant parents always encouraged him to try harder in school, but like many teenagers, he had to learn from his mistakes the hard way.

Maurice Thomas

The son of a decorated Navy veteran and the youngest of four siblings, Louisiana native Maurice Thomas was always living in someone’s shadow growing up.

Marcos Nunez

At the age of 17, Marcos Nunez's path in life seemed pre-determined. “The lifestyle [I was brought into] was not like normal teenagers'.

Mona Sherman

Mona Sherman married her high school sweetheart over 20 years ago, became a mother, and shortly thereafter began working for the Cy-Fair Independent School District (CFISD).

Yanira Vigil

Like many teenagers, Yanira went through a rough period, trying to find her voice, seeking help, guidance, and support wherever she could find it.

Sonia Benitez

Like many mothers, Sonia Benitez, 43, has always been the core of her family unit.

Kedric Fornerette

At the age of 41, Kedric Fornerette decided that his life needed an abrupt change.

Linda Deleon

Linda came sometime around 1980 to find hope and empowerment.

Sara Vega

Sara Vega, a 27-year old first-generation college graduate, struggled to get her foot in the door to a full time job after graduating from college in 2012.

Stanley Newman

For Stanley Newman, a 28-year old devoted father of two and recent BankWork$ graduate, the journey toward success hasn’t always been the easiest path.

Esther Kentish

The beginning of Esther’s life was full of struggle. But in 2013, the resilient teenager landed a prized summer internship through SER-Jobs for Progress and a new world opened for her.

Juan Marin

When he was a child, Juan Marin and his family emigrated from El Salvador to Houston in search of a better life. He and his family have since become naturalized U.S.

Juan Vela

Juan Vela transitioned his summer internship into a full time job, thanks to a positive attitude, willingness, and work ethic. 

Daniel Banda

“I am 18 years old, going to be 19 next month. I have both my parents, mom and dad, and a little sister. She is four years younger than me.   

Luis Ambriz

"I'm 39. I grew up in Houston. I only got one brother; he's two years younger. We always lived in southeast Houston, but moved around.

Nichole Young

"I am 37. I grew up in East St. Louis, Illinois. I spent 15 years there and then 10 years in Atlanta, Georgia. I had an extended family: I had six bonus siblings from my step-father. 

Abel Rosales

“I'm 30 years old. I'm from California, born and raised. I grew up there, went to school there, and I wasn't doing nothing productive with myself.

Mishona Steadman

"I'm 29 years old. I grew up in Houston, Texas, on the Northeast side.  

Tyson DeLaFosse

"I'm 33. I was born in Friendswood, but I moved to Katy when I was 3. I lived there until I was about 28 so for 25 years. All my family is over there still.   

Jimmy Perez

"I am 29. I was raised in apartments in the northwest part of town, but in the summers I spent a lot of time with my grandmother on the Northside, in the Heights.

LaToya Richard

I grew up on the Southside of Houston. I had both parents in the household. I have two older siblings and a younger sibling.   

Royal Mays

After spending 8 years behind bars, Royal Mays faced some significant challenges in order to get his life back on track.

Mariah Iles

Mariah Iles, a 23-year old single mother of two, battled obstacles for four years before earning her GED through SER’s YouthBuild program, adopting a new outlook, and discovering a new world

Jafar Brown-Bryan

I'm 20 years old. I've always traveled all around Houston. I was born on the southwest side.

Douglas Wynhoff

“I am 43 years old. I was born in Houston. I've lived here most of my life, in the Spring Branch area.  

Erin Cox

“My name is Erin Cox. I'm 29. I'm originally from Southeastern Illinois, but I was stationed at Fort Hood in the Army. I was there for three years.

Jessica Manning

I'm 22 years old, and I was born and raised in Texas. I grew up in a little town called Magnolia.  

Velma Jones

After the death of her son, Velma Jones turned to SER to reinvent herself and heal. While participating in paid on-the-job training, Velma donated her paycheck back to SER. -----

Cristobal Barboza

"I'm originally from Monterrey, in Nuevo León, Mexico. I moved here with my parents when I was six years old. I am now 23.  


When Yocelin became a mother at the age of 16, her world changed completely.

Lamira Baker

Lamira Baker, a 44-year old native Houstonian and mother of three, grew up between Third Ward and Missouri City before spending 15 years serving in the military.

Julia Salazar

“I'm from Houston - I grew up in Denver Harbor. I'm 38. My daughter is 6, and I'm a single mom.  

Marina & Jose Cepeda

Julia Hernández

"I want to keep working, and I want to keep growing professionally."

Sidney Newell Jr.

Sidney Newell Jr. is a US Army veteran who took advantage of SER training opportunities back in 1989.

Noemi Arzola

"I feel a lot of relief with my finance issues. I've been working on my credit because I really want to get my first home.

Mohammed Dawood

Mohammed is an immigrant from Iraq who came to the United States with a simple goal: finding a job in the financial industry.   

Linda Upson

  “SER helped me build my confidence, which allows me to encourage others.”   

Vanessa Richards

Vanessa Richards is a single mother of four children and a US Army veteran.

Nicholas Lopez

“I think working at a non-profit really humbles you. And lets you appreciate what you have in life and lets you set your goals.

Daisy Benavides

"I thought ‘I'm staying home alone, what am I doing here?

Willie James

“I didn’t know how to start again. Now I am more confident with myself and life.”   ___________________________  

Osasu Oviawe

"Before SER, I had gotten an interview with a bank. But I didn't get hired because they said they chose a more qualified candidate.

Fabian Toledo

 “I feel very grateful for this wonderful organization. The hard working and dedicated [staff] understood my needs and had a plan for success for me. They were always happy to help.

Adrianna Sanchez

"This experience has done so much to me. First, it built up my resumé, which is something colleges look into. It showed me how to communicate.