October 2017 Newsletter

Categories: News


Proteus Client Earns Her Nursing Degree

New career provides full-time employment for Haylie


Alison Mahoney-Doran is Regional Director in Iowa.

Alison Mahoney-Doran is Regional Director in Iowa.

Haylie Osborn first heard of Proteus during a classroom presentation. She was enrolled in the nursing program at Southwestern Community College, Creston, Iowa, and working toward her degree and working various jobs to provide extra income to her family. She qualified for the National Farmworkers Job Program through her husband who was a seasonal farmworker at Lamoni Livestock Auctions.

To learn more and enroll in NFJP, Haylie met with Proteus Case Manager Mandi Claussen. After she enrolled in the program, Haylie received some textbooks, scrubs and tuition assistance as well as a board exam fees through Proteus. Doing so helped to lift some of her financial burden and reduce Haylie’s student debt, giving her relief.

Haylie Osborn

Haylie graduated with her Registered Nurse degree and is working full-time.

Haylie graduated with a Licensed Practical Nursing degree in June 2016. Shortly after that, Haylie reached out to Proteus stating she had applied for the Registered Nursing Program at Southwestern Community College and had been accepted. This was great news as the demand for nurse services is high.

In July, Haylie graduated and earned her degree as a registered nurse. She was able to complete her degree with the help of Proteus and other support services programs. Having earned her degree, she is now working full-time as an RN at Decatur County Hospital and able to provide more for her family.

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Support Gives Client a New Outlook on Life

Nebraska partners provide support to Jacklynn


Jody Stutzman

Jody Stutzan is a Case Manager in Nebraska.

Nebraska Case Manager Jody Stutzman met Jacklynn after she was referred by the Jubilee Center in Kearney, Nebraska. Jacklynn had recently been incarcerated and didn’t have employment. Jacklynn had worked hard while incarcerated – attending counseling sessions and obtaining her GED – but she wasn’t sure what to do with the rest of her life. Jacklynn informed Jody that before she went to prison she had spent most of her adult life doing seasonal agricultural work, qualifying her for the National Farmworkers Job Program.

Knowing about a partnership with Kearney Works, Nebraska Vocational Rehabilitation and Central Community College to offer a one-year mechatronics certification program. Jody called Jacklynn right away to find out her interest. By that afternoon Jacklynn met with Stan Zimbleman, Kearney Works, to learn more about the program. Jacklynn was also referred to Nebraska Vocational Rehabilitation who provided tuition and textbooks. Proteus paid Jacklynn a $5 per classroom hour stipend and helped with fuel to get to and from school.

With the support of Proteus and its partners, Jacklynn is in school and learning a new skilled trade.

With the support of Proteus and its partners, Jacklynn is in school and learning a new skilled trade.

After starting classes in August, Jacklynn realized she needed a computer with internet access so she could complete her homework. Not able to afford a computer, spoke with Stan, Kearney Works, and was able to receive a computer on loan.

Jacklynn’s hard work is very inspiring to witness and Proteus looks forward to watching the great things she will accomplish in her life’s journey. Jacklynn has said, “Thank you for everything, Jody, I couldn’t do this without you.”

In addition to helping a new client, Proteus also developed new partnerships in central Nebraska that help seasonal farmworkers.

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Food Drive Collects Food for Farmworkers

Indiana agencies join together to feed others


Jesusa Rivera is a Case Manager in Indiana.

Jesusa Rivera is a Case Manager in Indiana.

Before the start of the busy summer season, Proteus staff in Indiana met with several partners including the Food Bank of Northern Indiana, St. Vincent de Paul Society and St. Adalbert Parish. They all asked the same question, “What can we do for our migrant farmworkers once they arrive in Indiana?”

Working together, a plan was developed to feed and clothe as many farmworkers as possible. Then the work began. The food bank prepared a list of wanted items. St. Vincent De Paul, along with St. Adalbert Parish, offered their assistance. Then a challenge presented itself. How could the food be delivered to the distribution location? It was a holiday weekend and there were no refrigerated trucks available-anywhere! The situation was explained to members at the food bank. A few hours later, a call from the food bank stated that a company had offered their refrigerated semi! The work continued.

July was a hot month, with the majority of farmworkers making Indiana their temporary home. Traveling with very little for thousands of miles, the only thing they had on their minds was work.


Food items were collected for farmworkers in Indiana.

After a long week of working early mornings and late nights, the farmworkers in northern Indiana were able to get some time off to attend mass at St. Adalbert Parish. Afterward, there were plenty of food goods donated by the food bank as well as toiletries donated by St. Vincent De Paul for distribution. Because the food bank donated approximately 36 skids of food, it was a great feeling being able to tell the farmworkers to take as much as they could fit in their vehicle. People had to make room inside their vehicles as well as on top, providing a food supply to last a while. As farmworkers, they work very hard to help feed a nation and they deserve to have plenty of delicious meals at the end of the day when their work is done. In addition to food donations, St. Vincent De Paul donated toys for children who came with their parent.

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The event was a great success with Proteus, the Food Bank of Northern Indiana and St. Vincent DePaul Society feeding more than 900 individuals, primarily migrants and seasonal farmworkers.

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Proteus Helps Family Become Self Sufficient

Services support college tuition and travel


Matt Winkel is a Regional Director in Fort Dodge, Iowa.

Matt Winkel is a Regional Director in Fort Dodge, Iowa.

Losing a job can be a very hard experience to completely recover from. Mark Thompson had worked securing loads for a local trucking company. After working there for some time, the company went out of business. Mark had to begin the difficult process of looking for a job in a small community and he was faced with the challenge of having to start over in his career.

In addition to this struggle, Mark was taking care of his wife who is confined to a wheelchair. As is with many who are looking for work, applications go unanswered, and finances become extremely tight. Mark had begun a temporary job washing equipment as well as working for a local farmer cutting and bailing hay. While working these seasonal jobs did help his situation, he didn’t earn enough to get by. The hard work for low wages can really wear on a person and Mark made the difficult decision to invest in his future and go back to school. He was looking for a career that he could enjoy, and one that would support his family year-round.

Proteus Helps family Become Self Sufficient

With support from Proteus, Mark is now employed full-time and supporting his family.

After looking into the programs at Iowa Central Community College, Fort Dodge, Mark chose to enroll in the welding program. After hearing about Proteus from the school’s financial aid department, he made the call to see if he would be eligible for the National Farmworkers Job Program.

Proteus Case Manager Rachael Thompson was able to help Mark receive a stipend for his time in class, as well as some mileage for his drive to school every day. The assistance Mark received from Proteus helped to ease his mind and he was able to focus on his training. After a year of school and receiving a degree, Mark began to work for Minnehan Metal Works and was earning a regular paycheck again.

Mark is very appreciative of the help that Proteus could provide and is looking forward to the future he and his wife now have.

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Welcome Iowa Health Care Manager

Briana Reha-Klenske joins Iowa City Team


BRKWelcome Briana Reha-Klenske to the Proteus team! Briana recently graduated from the University of Iowa majoring in International Studies and Global Health. She has learned quickly what it takes to be successful in serving the migrant and seasonal farmworkers in Iowa as she has been running clinics since her start date. In her free time, Briana likes to climb anything she can. She also likes to travel and spent a year in South Korea and a summer in Costa Rica immersing herself in the language and culture. Briana has a great passion to serve others and enjoys the opportunity to help the population we work with.

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Proteus Hosts Special Showing of ‘Food Chains’

Film event to be held Oct. 26


Proteus-Food-Chain-NewsletterIn this exposé, an intrepid group of Florida farmworkers battle to defeat the $4 trillion global supermarket industry through their ingenious Fair Food program, which partners with growers and retailers to improve working conditions for farm laborers in the United States.

There is more interest in food these days than ever, yet there is very little interest in the hands that pick it. Farmworkers, the foundation of our fresh food industry, are routinely abused and robbed of wages. In extreme cases they can be beaten, sexually harassed or even enslaved – all within the borders of the United States.

Food Chains reveals the human cost in our food supply and the complicity of large buyers of produce like fast food and supermarkets. Fast food is big, but supermarkets are bigger – earning $4 trillion globally. They have tremendous power over the agricultural system. Over the past 3 decades they have drained revenue from their supply chain leaving farmworkers in poverty and forced to work under subhuman conditions. Yet many take no responsibility for this.

The narrative of the film focuses on an intrepid and highly lauded group of tomato pickers from Southern Florida – the Coalition of Immokalee Workers or CIW – who are revolutionizing farm labor. Their story is one of hope and promise for the triumph of morality over corporate greed – to ensure a dignified life for farm workers and a more humane, transparent food chain.

To learn more about the film, view the trailer by clicking here.

Proteus will host a private showing of the film, ‘Food Chains,’ on October 26 at the Fleur Cinema, Des Moines, Iowa.

Tickets are $25 per person and can be purchased online.