'The Alliance' opening doors to employment in the Gandhi District

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Despite the pandemic, an agency that helps people near the Gandhi District better their lives hasn't slowed down.

Melina Hernandez knows the impact the agency, The Alliance can make. "It's very special because it opened so many doors for me because for a while I didn't believe in myself, and this place taught me to believe in myself again," Hernandez recalled.

Two years ago, the teen mom turned to The Alliance for a CNA program. A decision that changed her life. "That's what I love about The Alliance," Hernandez explained. "Nobody judges you. Nobody saw me as, Melina the 17-year-old mom."

After completing the CNA program, Hernandez got a job at Memorial Hermann. She's now studying at Lone Star College to become a nurse.

"The Alliance opened that door for me," Hernandez said. "Now that I'm in, I don't want to stop."

The agency is located near the Gandhi District. Its goal is to help immigrants new and old in the community better their lives. For more than 35 years, the agency said it's helped more than 10,000 clients.

You can learn English, take vocational programs, and they partner with Workforce Solutions to help people find a job.

"There's a lot of opportunity to meet with other people, just like them, to help them move forward in life," The Alliance Workforce Solution & ESL instructor Ashley Griffin explained.

Because of the pandemic, the classrooms, and computer labs are empty, but the learning hasn't stopped. Classes are virtual. And the majority of what the alliance offers is still free.

"They come in very concerned and confused about what the future holds for them, and within two to three months they're determined and ready to face the world in a new way," Griffin recalled.

Determination is what Hernandez found after a few months. "I believed in myself, and I did it, and I did it with the help of a whole lot of people," Hernandez recalled. A new start that has prepared her for the rest of her life. To learn more about The Alliance, click here.
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