Proteus assists students with education-related expenses

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jasson11Jasson Villarreal is a graduate from the Professional Cosmetology Institute (PCI). Through Proteus Inc. Jasson discovered a passion for cosmetology and was able to finance his education at the Professional Cosmetology Institute (PCI). Proteus offers many programs, including the National Farmworker Jobs Program which assisted Jasson with educational expenses including classes, books, training materials and as well as a stipend for time spent in class.


I discovered Proteus after they helped a friend in Ames, so I called and inquired if they could help me as well.  It was the end of 2011 and I had been working in maintenance at McDonald’s in Ames. Things were going alright, but I was not where I wanted to be. I needed a career change.

When I contacted Proteus they connected me with Sonia-Reyes Synder. She went to work right away; and set up a time to meet with me the following week to fill out paperwork. Sonia met me during my lunch break, and we started to get things going. I was looking at attending a local community college. In a short amount of time, I applied for admission, did required testing and ultimately was accepted.

My business management class was about to start and I felt prepared, or so I thought. But then, I had second thoughts about the program I had chosen. I felt I had just jumped in and tried to beat a deadline of when a class was going to start. I wasn’t sure this was the best choice for me.

I spoke with Sonia and told her I wasn’t sure if I was following the right path. So I checked out some other options, one of which was the Professional Cosmetology Institute (PCI). I called PCI and asked if I could apply. I informed Sonia of my decision and she was very supportive. She asked me for a school supply list. It was quite lengthily, consisting of folders, pen, note cards, all black clothing: pants, shirts and shoes. Sonia got the list approved and we shopped locally in Ames.

Sonia told me that Proteus provides travel expenses, health and legal aid. I asked about the health aid, as I was having tooth pain and needed new prescription for my glasses. Sonia took care of making all my appointments, allowing me to get the medical attention I needed. Having Proteus take care of everything enabled me to better myself and focus on my future.

I enrolled in PCI and made awesome progress once classes started. Sonia was so happy for me; I could see how proud she was of my accomplishments. I was a full-time student and Proteus even paid me for a portion of the time I spent in class. This allowed me to stay and give school 100% the attention it needed for me to succeed.

By the time I graduated, I was one of the top three students and already had a job lined up in Des Moines at a Premier Salon. I stop in at the Proteus Des Moines Merle Hay location when I’m in the neighborhood, as I enjoy seeing and talking to the staff. When I see Sonia, I see her as a friend and give her a giant hug. Thanks, in big part to, Proteus, I was able to achieve my career goals with minimal student loan debt.


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