December 2018 Newsletter

Categories: News


Client Achieves Major Milestone

Jennifer earns driver’s license


Jesusa Rivera

Jesusa Rivera is a Case Manager in Indiana.

There are many milestones in our lives. First steps, first birthdays and the first day of school. Some events we don’t remember very well because we were too young. However, there are some, “firsts,” we do remember because we felt the emotion of it in our hearts. Like the time you held your baby sister in your arms, saw your first rainbow, or admired a beautiful sunset. Jennifer Narvaez, 17 years old, achieved one such milestone in her life. Her driver’s license! This was a very big step for Jennifer.

Jennifer Narvaez (2)

Earning her driver’s license, Jennifer is ready to tackle her next goal.

One year ago, Jesusa Rivera, Proteus Bilingual Case Manager, visited Jennifer. With passion, Jesusa told about all the services Proteus has to offer. Jennifer was able to receive food and clothing vouchers, providing comfort to Jennifer and her family, knowing they have food and clothes. After sitting down with her case manager, Jennifer wrote down several goals, including ones she would need assistance from Proteus to achieve. Her first goal was to get her driver’s license. Another goal is to earn her certificate in early childhood education.

After long weeks this summer, Jennifer is happy that her studying, testing and driver’s education is over. Her father, family and case manager are very proud of her accomplishment. Thinking that it’s a good idea to start planning your future when young, Jennifer’s next step is a work experience in childcare. She’ll gain hands-on experience and learn if this is a career she is interested in.

Following her favorite Lisa Hammond quote, “The most important thing you will ever do is become who you were meant to be. Blossom into yourself, ” Jennifer is planning her future.

back to top


Close to Home

Welding career provides stability


Patrick Taggart

Patrick Taggart is a Regional Director in Iowa.

Collin Herman knew he wanted to attend a welding certification course offered through his high school near Manchester, Iowa. What he didn’t know was how he would afford this opportunity.

Having worked alongside his mother on a tobacco farm in Kentucky during the summer of 2013, they had little to live off of. Returning to Iowa, Collin’s mother also worked as a certified nursing assistant to help make ends meet until additional work would be available again in the summer.

Collin Herman

Following graduation, Collin has a new career and is getting involved in his community as a firefighter.

Seeing the struggle working seasonally and as a migrant caused, Collin was overjoyed at the chance to get an education and potential career near his home. Working with Northeastern Iowa Community College, Calmar, Collin learned he would be eligible for tuition assistance. Knowing the work Proteus does with farmworkers, a college representative reached out to see if Collin would be eligible for services. By qualifying through his mother’s farm work, Collin was soon enrolled in classes and received coaching on how to best proceed in getting a job with his newly attained welding skills. Collin received support in resume writing as well as how to interview effectively with potential employers. Using these skills he was soon offered a job at Attachment Technologies in Delhi, Iowa.

With help from Proteus, Collin received welding equipment and clothing from Proteus. With these items, Collin was able to work comfortably and confidently – even before his first paycheck was issued.

Having a work location near his home, is a great relief to Collin. It allows him to get involved in his community. And he has joined the volunteer fire department – an important attribute to Collin because helping others is near and dear to his heart.

back to top


Student Doesn’t Let Obstacles Get in Way

Health challenges don’t stop Holden


Jody Stutzan

Jody Stutzan is the Regional Director in Nebraska.

When Proteus Regional Director Jody Stutzman served as a case manager, she met Holden Bruce. He was a junior in high school in Franklin, Nebraska, and faced with a life changing situation. He had been diagnosed with a brain tumor and had already experienced three surgeries during his freshman and sophomore years. Although his parents faced their own serious health battles, his father continued to do farm work when he could.

Holden Bruce

Adding college-level coursework to his high school classes, Holden graduated with an associate degree and has a new career.

Because it was important to his parents that Holden begin his college education early, Holden took classes in the summer, fall and spring while completing his high school senior year. Since Holden was still in high school and not a full-time college student, he wasn’t able to receive financial assistance, but with assistance from Proteus, his tuition and books were paid for.

Holden began studying diesel technology in August 2016 at Central Community College in Hastings, Nebraska. He received assistance from Proteus in the form of a stipend for the hours he attended class which he used for fuel and books. Every other week, Holden met with his case manager to discuss his progress and turn in his timesheets for attending class.

In May 2018, Holden graduated an associate degree in diesel technology. Immediately after graduating he began working as a diesel mechanic for Landmark Implement in Minden, Nebraska. And when most recent graduates are taking time to transition into life after college, Holden bought a house and got married!

back to top


Proteus Patient Finds Relief

Health clinic provides much-needed service

Matt Winkel

Matt Winkel is a Regional Director in Iowa.


Josefina Calles came to Proteus after being referred by another patient who had been attending Proteus healthcare clinics. She had spent the last several years tending to the fields and working with poultry near Clarion, Iowa. Josefina had been suffering for some time with headaches, dizziness and terrible chest pain.

“Some days I could not go to work because I felt the chest pain was too dangerous,” she said. After living with this pain for some time she was forced to retire from working on the farm.

“I had no insurance, so I didn’t receive any healthcare. I would deal with it on a day by day basis but I knew something was wrong,” she said. Since Josefina lived alone she had nowhere else to turn.

Josefina Calles

Healthcare services provided by Proteus helped Josefina get back on her feet.

With the assistance of Proteus Healthcare Manager Carmen Vargas, Josefina was able to get her diabetes and cholesterol under control. She was also connected with financial assistance to be able to see a cardiologist for her heart condition.

“Proteus has helped me in so many ways. I used to be really sad and depressed but everyone here listens to me. I feel like I wouldn’t be alive without this service,” she said.

With the help of Proteus, Josefina is able to take advantage of the discounted medications that are allowing her to live the best life possible.

Josefina is prime example of how important it is that Proteus provide quality healthcare services to Iowa farmworkers.

“I really enjoy coming to my appointment. They’re all such good people. I hope God blesses them with much more,” Josefina said

back to top