We caught up with Dream Achiever alumna, Adriana Zermino, to find out about her brighter future.
“How am I going to do this?”
This is the question Adriana Zermeno asked herself in 2018. Born to young parents who separated, remarried, and started new families of their own, Adriana felt left behind and matured quickly for her age. Her mom had to work two jobs to make ends meet for their family, which sometimes left Adriana caring for her younger brother. Early on, she knew the difficulties of intergenerational poverty and had a desire to break the cycle through education.
In 2018, Adriana had the opportunity to become the first person in her family to graduate from college when she applied and was accepted into ACC’s nursing program. Yet, her financial path was rocky and mired with uncertainty–Adriana was barely making enough money to support herself through the first part of her college journey. She knew she wouldn’t be able to work nearly as much once she started the program and began working towards her dream of becoming a Registered Nurse.
When Adriana interviewed with The Dream Come True Foundation to become a Dream Achiever, she knew she had found her community, her lifeline. She shared, “It was so special to see a table full of strangers who cared about me and my future and my goals.” And Adriana’s mentor, Jessica, was at the table that day. Jessica would play an essential role in helping Adriana build confidence and begin to believe in herself.
Adriana is now in a supervisory capacity as a Clinical Nurse Coordinator at St. David’s South Austin Hospital. She is a wife, a mother, and a mentor to current Dream Achievers. Her stable income, increased financial literacy, and money management skills enabled her to become a homeowner too.
Adriana shared that these were things she didn’t allow herself to accomplish until she graduated. “I had to become a better me, and part of that was focusing on obtaining my career first. I broke the cycle of poverty in my family, and I hope to start a new pattern for my daughter.”