Senior Case Manager (EPCC & UTEP Education)
Eduviges "Vikki" ReySenior Case Manager (EPCC & UTEP Education)
E-Mail Address: email@example.com
Phone Extension: 232
Eduviges “Vikki” Rey joined Project ARRIBA in February 2000 as a counselor assistant and worked her way up to Sr. Case Manager. Her case load has consisted of students enrolled in the allied health fields, nursing and ESOL programs at the El Paso Community College.
Vikki is currently pursuing her bachelor’s degree in Business Management at Park University. She has over 20 years of experience in customer service, and also worked as a purchasing agent for the maquila industry in Juarez, Mexico.
Vikki was born and raised in El Paso Texas. She is the oldest of three siblings and is the proud mother of two daughters, Veronica and Victoria. She has lived most of her life in El Paso and definitely considers this her home. Vikki enjoys helping people and seeing them succeed. She truly believes in doing things well and with passion.
1. Please begin by giving us your name, company and title.
My name is Eduviges “Vikki” Rey. I am a Sr. Case Manager for Project ARRIBA. I started on my 22nd year this February 2021, and I am looking forward to another 20, hopefully!
2. As a Case Manager, you get to work closely with program participants and graduates. What is the one thing, one trait, one quality that all successful participants and graduates have in common?
I believe the one thing that successful participants and graduates have in common is their goal of completing their educational training. They can see the light at the end of tunnel as they get closer to completing their degrees, and they cannot wait to become self-sufficient. No more having to rely on public assistance or living paycheck to paycheck to provide for themselves and their families. They become employed as soon as they acquire their license, certification or registry earning a family sustaining wage, and these wages not only impacts their lives, they impact the economic development of El Paso.
3. What’s the best part of your job?
The best part of my job is learning about my participant’s life, as well as about their parents’ lives. Where they’re from or where they came from. Learning about their daily struggles and how much they’ve sacrificed to start and stay on their education track. As a case manager I get to advocate for these individuals so Project ARRIBA can provide necessary support for them so they can continue and finish school. It is a great accomplishment not only for my participants, but for me as well, to see them reach their goals.
4. Please share one example of how Project ARRIBA lifts the community.
Project ARRIBA lifts our communities by being able to assist individuals who otherwise would not have the means or resources to continue with training degrees. Project ARRIBA is not just about the providing financial support, it’s also about providing participants with intensive case management, a necessary support for participants to become successful. Once these individuals acquire jobs and start earning a family sustaining wage, their lives change and they are impacted in a positive way.
5. In your opinion, why is the work of Project ARRIBA so important to El Paso’s Latino community?
Project ARRIBA has paved the road to success for the Latino communities by assisting and empowering these individuals with the education and skills they need to acquire a family sustaining job, which has helped them and their families out of poverty. Project ARRIBA has also been able to help thousands of individuals with post-secondary attainment and job placement, as well as increased graduation rates in our border region. Basically put, Project ARRIBA’s program has demonstrated to be a valuable means of acquiring job training in El Paso.
6. Do you ever think about what impact your work has on the trajectory of these individuals? Talk about that.
I believe the work that we do at Project ARRIBA impacts the paths that these individuals are on. We want help lessen some of the barriers that may impede them from staying on track. Thus, helping them being able to continue with the path they’ve chosen in life. We want what they want, to become successful. I strongly believe that when you continue to lead your life in a certain direction you will become successful. It’s amazing how simple and slight changes in these individuals’ trajectory can shift and make huge differences in their lives.
7. I’ve heard you are affectionately called the fairy godmother around the office – why do you think they say that?
I think it’s because people see how these participants transform themselves into educated and working individuals. But, I don’t think it’s all because of the fairy godmother they were assigned to. I believe it has a lot to do with the listening and the learning they are exposed to on a daily basis. They want to learn and grow, and provide the best life they can for themselves and their families, and they know that the sky is the limit. You are as successful as you want to be, but you must be willing to work hard for it.
8. I would imagine your job is busy and you put long hours in – what keeps you motivated? What’s your inspiration?
I believe my participants are my motivation. It’s amazing how a little bit of guidance goes a long way. Most of the time, that’s all a person needs, just someone to guide them in the right direction. They inspire me in so many ways and they keep me going. I can’t explain what an awesome feeling it is to see these young individuals taking on adult roles and becoming independent. Many are so grateful and continue being part of the Project ARRIBA program even though they’ve graduated. They want to come back and let others know “they can do it!”. They’re not just my inspiration, they become my participant’s inspiration too!
*Questions by Tony Hernandez, Immigrant Archive Project