What We Do Success Stories

Maria De Los Angeles Barragan
Maria De Los Angeles Barragan

Maria De Los Angeles Barragan, a native of Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico, embarked on a transformative journey that spanned borders and professions. In her early twenties, she secured residency and made the move to El Paso. There, she enrolled at the San Jacinto Adult Learning Center, where she diligently earned her GED. The path to her dreams unfolded further as she immersed herself in ESL classes at EPCC.

It was within these academic corridors that Maria first encountered Project ARRIBA. The enrollment process commenced, and in January 2011, she became a sponsored participant. Nursing held her heart, so she delved into pre-requisite courses while juggling a full-time job and caring for her ailing mother. The weight of responsibilities at home made passing the nursing entrance exam an elusive feat, prompting Maria to reconsider her path.

Undeterred, she shifted gears and enrolled in the Surgical Tech program. Her determination bore fruit—she aced her courses, met all preliminary requirements, and secured acceptance into the program. But life’s twists intervened. Maria’s mother fell seriously ill, forcing her to pause her educational pursuits. Tragically, her mother passed away during this challenging time.

Yet Maria’s resilience knew no bounds. With Project ARRIBA’s unwavering support, she returned to school, reigniting her pursuit of the Surgical Tech program. Tuition assistance, guidance, and intensive case management propelled her forward, culminating in her graduation from EPCC in May 2017. Throughout her sponsorship, Maria stood out—an empathetic listener, an encourager to those on the brink of giving up.

UMC welcomed her as soon as she acquired her license, and there she continues to make a difference. Maria’s gratitude extends to her late mother, who always believed in her success, and her siblings. Above all, she credits Project ARRIBA for enabling her transformation into a self-sufficient professional. Recently, she secured acceptance into an online nursing program, further fueling her aspirations.

Training Provider
Career Field
Surgical Technician
University Medical Center
Annual Salary
Quote from Case Manager

Maria was faced with difficult challenges; however, she did not let them crumble her goals. You are not one of those who give up easily. When faced with hard times, you persevered, and your achievements are proof of this. Keep aiming for the sky!

- Vikki Rey
Quote from Participant

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.