Success Stories


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Maria BarraganSurgical Tech

My name is Maria de los Angeles Barragan. I am originally from Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico and I have lived in the United States for 11 years. I immediately started studying in San Jacinto and it was there I obtained my GED. I enrolled for ESL classes at EPCC and it was there I heard about Project ARRIBA.

Nursing was my first major. But I had to work and take care of my mother who was ill and required much medical attention. I then decided to do Surgical Tech. I was accepted in to program, unfortunately my mother got seriously ill and I had to put everything on hold. Sadly enough my mother passed away.

I couldn’t understand why every time I was about to take the TSI exam something would happen, but now I do. I believe it was because I had to be by the side of the most wonderful woman in the whole world who gave birth to me. I loved how she used to sit by me while I worked on my studies. She would always look at me and say “don’t worry, you’ll make it”. So I thank her enormously from earth to heaven because what I am achieving today is because of her.

I returned to school and started the Surgical Tech program once again with Project ARRIBA’s help, to finish what I had started.

Project ARRIBA has assisted with me with tuition, school materials, intensive case management, and I have acquired information and skills from weekly VIP meetings.

I have many people to thank. Jerry, my family, and Luis for their support. But most of all Project ARRIBA for helping me accomplish my goal of becoming a Surgical Tech. I want to obtain a stable job and give back so we can keep helping people who want to change their lives and succeed.

Maria is currently working at University Medical Center earning well over $35,600/year.