Success Stories

See What Our Clients Are Saying About Us!

Amber B. (Navajo)                                                                                                                        

Born and raised in Gallup, NM, I dreamt of being a healthcare professional. I remember being in complete awe the first time I saw an ER. Nurses running back and fourth to help patients, doctors brainstorming, and technicians assisting any way that they can. Before I was able to attend public school, I was already attending my own classes – with my older siblings’ books. I knew that I was prepared for a life of learning.

In the fall of 2018, I was working as a shift manager at McDonald’s here in Albuquerque and finally decided that I needed more than what I was getting. I was attending UNM Main Campus when I made the decision to add a few extra steps in my career path by becoming a Certified Pharmacy Technician.

Once January came around, I had started my classes at Pima Medical Institute, a 9-month certification program that allowed me to learn the fundamentals of the pharmacy, pharmacology, and preparing sterilized compounds. A few months in, I was struggling financially. I was without an income and I honestly felt hopeless because it’s a struggle of its own trying to find a company that will work with students and their class schedule. It was break time and I was looking through my Facebook feed when I came across NIYC’s ad, “Full-time student needing assistance?” That was my moment. I called and was invited to fill out the In-Class Training application and I met with a program Specialist, Tera, the following week.

I applied for the In-Classroom training because I knew I needed help. I am my family’s first generation to attend university and a vocational school, which meant that there was little to no support for me financially and sometimes emotionally. I had lost my position as a Food Sales Associate at Walmart for scheduling and other reasons. Luckily, my landlord is understanding and compassionate, he accepted my rent without a late fee and he worked with me to help pay my utilities. As far as food goes, it was ramen and PBJ sandwiches. I had other obligations like gas for my ‘91 Galant, my certification exam, scrubs, etc.

Once I was approved for the program, my mind was at ease and I was able to put 100% into Pima. Knowing that I was going to be okay, financially, was a huge weight off my shoulders. I did not have to worry about when I’m going to be able to eat a hot meal or if I was going to make it to school with the amount of gas I had. With the help of NIYC, I was able to not only afford food and gas, but I was able to register with the Board of Pharmacy so that I may obtain my pharmacy license to legally work in a pharmacy setting. Also, I was able to purchase my certification exam months before taking it and it was all I could ask for in terms of feeling secure.

Having not only the financial support, but the support of NIYC’s staff was more than I was expecting. NIYC was there to assist in building relationships or connections across the urban area which gave me a sense of community. Coming from little Ol’ Gallup and moving to Albuquerque was a shock to me and NIYC was there to ease some of the nerves I had in building those connections. I look forward to working with NIYC in the future and I highly recommend reaching out to them for any type of support.

Now, I am a Clinical Pharmacy Call Specialist with Presbyterian Health Plan and I absolutely love it. I love the company and I love where I am at in life. None of this would be possible without all the support I was given, by not only family but by NIYC. There is this quote by George Shinn, that I hold dear to myself, that is, “There is no such thing as a self-made man. You will reach your goals only with the help of others.” I understand that the path I have chosen for myself is quite a long one, but I’m excited for what the future holds. I will be going back to UNM this upcoming spring semester to continue my undergrad pre-requisites for the College of Pharmacy. Good luck to all of the students, WE got this!


Kyle T. (Navajo)
I arrived to Albuquerque from Window Rock, Arizona in 2015. I was a homeless Veteran on my own with little experience and no job skills outside military service but NIYC was one of many local resources that helped me get back on my feet. Through case management and support, I have since graduated with Honors from CNM in 2018 with an Associate’s Degree in Business. After applying and receiving classroom training assistance and guidance from the staff at NIYC, I was able to fully concentrate on my studies and was able to earn good grades.  I am a Work Experience Program Intern at NIYC and this opportunity is opening avenues. I am continuing my education at UNM pursuing a Bachelor degree in Organizational Leadership.  Things changed in my life when I discovered that there are teams of people ready and willing to help just like the staff at NIYC. I have so much to look forward to after graduating with my degree. All it took was the willingness to ask questions and be open to putting in extra work.  Thanks to NIYC and other organizations in New Mexico, I will be ready to take those next steps to help my people back on the Dine’ Nation and surrounding reservations.


Christopher T. (Navajo)
My name is Christopher Tsosie and I’m from the Dine’ Nation. I was laid off from my job at Macy’s that I had for almost 10 years. The ‘I don’t know’ feeling of what to do and how to start all over again scared me. Then I heard about the NIYC-WIOA program, and how they can help find strong skills and how to apply them to a wide range of careers.  Also, to help me build a resume and cover letter, which was something I totally forgot how to do.  The NIYC-WIOA sent me to a work site where I was able to build on more skills, learn about a different work environment, and get paid for doing it.  Eventually that opened the door to a new career, which I can proudly say I am about to have my two-year employment anniversary at Sandia Resort and Casino.  Who knew I had the skills to balance millions of dollars?! This is what the NIYC-WIOA program can do.  They can help someONE who literally had nothing, didn’t know where to start.  They gave me the pieces of the puzzle, it was just up to me to put it together. Thank you NIYC!


Valencia Z. (Navajo)
Ya’at’eeh my name is Val Zah. I am originally from Red Lake, AZ, near Crystal, NM. My maternal clan is Todich’ii’nii (Bitter Water) and paternal clan is Tabaaha (Water’s Edge). I am a previous NIYC recipient early on in my educational journey and utilized the program. I was attending TVI (currently CNM) at the time and worked using my trade skills (cosmetologist) while I was completing my prerequisites. NIYC’s mission helped me achieve personal, economic self-sufficiency in achieving my educational goals at the time.  Years later, upon completion of my Masters in Social Work, I have arrived full circle. At this time, I am helping others to maximize their gifts and achieve a balanced life for themselves; in Dine’ we call it, “Iina baa hozho”. It is ultimately having compassion and treating clients with dignity while assisting them in reaching their goals for desired change by utilizing an empowering strengths-based perspective. I constantly learn from my clients who identify with their own journeys; they invite me to witness their self determination of making a difference in their lives with my assisted guidance in navigating their challenges. I encourage you all to reach high for your goals and don’t take “no” as an answer, but instead ask questions until you get the answer you are satisfied with. Thank you to NIYC for its beneficial support which aided me at the beginning of my educational journey.”


Success Is A Journey. Not A Destination.