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Latest Blog Posts

Nory Angel, SER CEO, to leave organization in 2018

Posted December 11

On behalf of the Board of Directors and staff at SER-Jobs for Progress, Inc., we would like to share with you that Nory... Read more...

Capital campaign officially kicks off!

Posted September 21

SER publicly announced its Pathways to Potential capital campaign with a news conference held at the site of its new... Read more...

3 SER Amigos Gala Celebration

Posted August 9

3 SER Amigos Gala Honoring Stephen Fraga, Rick Jaramillo and Armando Perez October 6, 2017 Co-Chairs Paige and Bart... Read more...

Victor Avendano

For many low income, first generation, minority families, thinking of going to college and how to afford tuition can be very mind boggling.

But such was not the case. Victor Avendano, 21, grew up on the south side of Houston, Texas living with his mother, father, and older siblings. His family was poor and could not financially afford to send him to school, much less support him for the next four years.

Although his parents worked, the income they brought in was only enough to pay the bills...relying on their income was not going to be enough.

Victor attended Lee high school until the tenth grade, but decided that he wanted to explore other career options that interested him – Victor applied to the HISD magnet program and enrolled in Sharpstown High School with a concentration in Accounting.

Victor was the typical A/B student. He was a perfectionist when it came to his studies and that showed through his graduating grade point average 3.4 on a 4.0 scale. 

Victor didn’t care much for after school extracurricular activities in high school, but he managed to get a job at his local Chick-Fil-A store. Through hard work and dedication to the team, Victor’s manager seen potential in him and offered him a spot on the management team. As the need for income grew imperative to Victor, he kindly accepted the offer with the hopes of his promotion would help with his efforts to save money for college tuition.

“I had economic problems… What was I going to do? I did not have a ride, I didn’t have any support,” said Victor. “I told myself that if I [go] college [at this point in my life], then I was just going to drop out because it was just too much.

“I applied for FASFA, but didn’t get it. I was too worried about interest rates [to apply for educational loans],” said Victor.  “I decided that I was going to wait for a year [and work] to get everything together and then reapply.”

In a regular conversation with his mother, Victor spoke about his unending search to find scholarships and better jobs that would earn him more income. Victor’s mom suggested that he visit SER because they had helped a friend in her church who was in a similar situation as him and he should give it a try.

With nothing to lose, Victor visited with Elizabeth Gonzales, SER Youth Services Career Coach, and discovered that the H.Y.P.E program could provide him with a scholarship to enroll in a vocational trade and earn him an occupational certificate to a better career.

Six months later, Victor was informed that he qualified for the H.Y.P.E scholarship and he could use his award with SER’s community partner, Houston Community College (HCC) for the upcoming Welding program February 2017.

“I had already took a year off from my education and then I waited six more months for this scholarship for welding…I couldn’t wait any longer,” said Victor. “Welding was always an interest to me and it was more money…money that I could use to go back to school.”

“I quit [Chick-Fil-A] because I didn’t like it…they were flexible and really understanding about my college, [but] it was too much pressure and they always kept me late. [Since] I was a manager they expected me to do a lot before I left for the day,” said Victor.

In June 2017, Victor graduated from HCC’s Welding training program with an offer from ProMaxima earning $14/hour as an entry level welder working alongside pipefitters.

“On a scale of 1 to 10… it’s a 10!” said Victor. “I went there with no expectations… it gives you discipline and great work ethic.”

“It’s pretty calm. I work inside. I never imagined a job so easy. I take my time and [my coworkers] always gives me advice on how to be better at my job.”

In near future and no plans of leaving his current position, Victor plans to continue to seek out his dreams of going to college and obtaining his bachelor’s degree. Victor plans to study business management and administrationand go own his own business.