January 2018 Newsletter

Categories: News


Following a Dream

Sam earns his degree in dairy science


Patrick Taggart

Patrick Taggart is a Regional Director in Iowa.

When Sam Iwig attended the dairy science orientation at Northeast Iowa Community College in the spring of 2015, he visited Proteus’s booth and filled out a yellow card with information about enrolling. Little did he know that by doing so, he had started his path to assistance both financially and in finding a career that allows him to do what he loves to do; working with dairy cattle. Growing up in Kansas, Sam had worked seasonally for a neighbor who had a dairy herd and Sam’s interest in farming started. Knowing the reputation NICC has for agricultural studies, especially dairy, Sam enrolled and moved 500 miles north to the campus in Calmar, Iowa. On his own and having little, Sam was excited to hear about the support Proteus provided.

Sam Iwig

Sam Iwig is working toward his dairy science degree.

While taking classes, Sam received financial support to help make ends meet which helped him focus on graduating so he could get a job. Being so far from home, Proteus also provided support as Sam found his way in a new state.While in school, his case manager assisted in finding him a part-time job with an area farmer who also provided a place for Sam to live. The situation provided additional income as Sam was close to the work he loved to do.

Keeping busy with work and school, Sam graduated as scheduled with a degree in dairy science. Soon after receiving his diploma, Proteus helped find Sam a position as a dairy herdsman for a large operation in Minnesota. Being able to do what he loves is important to Sam and his dream became a reality with a little help from Proteus.

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Expressing Gratitude

Meet Jake Woodside


Susan Billups Rabick

Susan Billups Rabick serves as regional director for the Lincoln, Nebraska office

Gratitude. It’s oftentimes forgotten to express, that is unless you are Proteus client Jake Woodside. Proteus Case Manager Kim Parnell met Jake at Metropolitan Community College in Omaha while doing classroom presentations about the Proteus program. As a non-traditional student who is a six-year veteran of the United States Air Force, Jake is making his way through the utility line program on his own. Having been stationed all over the world – including locations in Okinawa, South Korea, Germany and also tech school in Texas – the former airplane mechanic decided to merge his career with his interests. An avid snowboarder and outdoorsman, Jake thought that the utility line program would allow him to work outside and earn a good living. Because his dad and grandpa were electricians, he knows that these jobs are lucrative and always in high need. In terms of the US Department of Labor, they are H3 jobs: high skill, high demand and high paying. He hopes to find work in the Omaha/Lincoln areas or possibly Colorado.

Jake Woodside

With tuition support from Proteus, Jake is completing training as a utility line worker.

Back to the gratitude; Proteus is able to provide tools and other services to assist students with their training programs. When working outside during the winter-staying warm is paramount. Recently, Jake and Case Manager Kim met to purchase cold weather gear to assist with his training in the upcoming cold months.

Jacob Woodside

James posted a photo of his warm clothing to Facebook.

Several days later, Jake posted a picture and thank you on the Proteus Facebook page. “I highly recommend looking into Proteus, Inc. if you’re in trade school and have an agricultural background. Thank you Kim Parnell!”

In the picture is the cold weather gear that Kim was able to provide for Jake to use as he finishes up his last semester of training.

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Getting Back on His Feet

Jason reaches out to Proteus for support


Matt Winkel

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

Jason Settle was referred to Proteus through the partnership with the TRIO Program at Hawkeye Community College, Waterloo, Iowa. This program provides support services such as tutoring to students with disadvantaged backgrounds. Jason had run into some legal trouble and as a result was unable to work for a period of time. After struggling to find work, he began a seasonal job working for local farmers cutting and baling hay. As this job began to slow down, he knew he would need to start working full-time. He decided to return to school at Hawkeye Community College and pursue a career in landscaping so that he would be able to help support his two young children. After speaking with Case Manager Rachael Roper, he was very interested in the assistance that Proteus could provide.

After enrolling in the National Farmworker Jobs Program, Jason was able to receive help with his tuition and a stipend for his time in class. When his car needed repair, Proteus was also able to assist by coordinating with the community college’s automotive program who completed the repair at a reasonable cost. When he alerted staff the he was having trouble with a rent payment, Proteus was able to assist.

Jason Settle

Jason now owns his own business thanks to the services and support of Proteus.

While attending school, Jason started doing lawn and landscaping work on his own to help pay the bills. After completing school, his business really began to pick up. He started Lime Light Landscaping and Lawn in Cedar Falls. Iowa. Proteus Case Manager Rachael helped him develop a budget so that he could keep the business running smoothly. In the summer, his business had grown so much that he was able to hire four employees to work for him.

Jason has come a long way since he first started with Proteus and NFJP. He is now able to able to support himself and do what he loves. After working through many struggles he is now a successful business owner and is looking forward to what the future holds.

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Veteran Benefits from Proteus Services

James is working toward his degree


Susan Billups Rabick

Susan Billups Rabick serves as regional director for the Lincoln, Nebraska office

Proteus client James Peterson met Jody Stutzman, Nebraska Case Manager, through the Project Homeless Connect organization. Project Homeless connects individuals experiencing life challenges with agencies that can help with employment, training, housing, transportation or medical care.

A former Gulf War Veteran who did seasonal farm work after returning from the service, James was having difficulties with substance abuse. With the assistance of Veterans Administration Readjustment Counselor Kelly Arends and Travis Karr, Central Community College’s Director of Military and Veterans Services, James found housing at the VA Transitional Living House after completing a substance abuse program in Grand Island.

James Peterson

Currently enrolled in a counseling, James plans to attend college in the fall to earn his bachelor’s degree.

With assistance from Proteus Case Manager Jody Stutzman, James looked for work. Because he needed a quick source of income, they sought out a job in manufacturing. With a bit of luck, Jody was able to help James find a job with Goodwill as a community support worker. From this work, James spurred an interest in attending Central Community College to earn a degree in community counseling. He is currently enrolled and completing a practicum at Mid-Plains Center for Behavorial Healthcare Services, Inc. in Grand Island. In the fall of 2018 James plans to attend the University of Nebraska-Kearney to obtain his bachelor’s degree in social work.

James Peterson is a powerful demonstration of what can happen when community service organizations work together to impact the lives of their clients in a positive way. He appreciates the help that Proteus and Proteus Case Manager Jody have given him. “It made my journey through to a new career a lot easier,” he said.

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