Participant Success Spotlight- Sergio Baca

Date: October 27, 2022

Recent Houston Transplant, Sergio Baca, always knew he wanted to work in the medical field. Originally from New Mexico, he got his start taking classes between New Mexico State University and Doña Ana Community College taking some prerequisite courses for a Kinesiology program before deciding to move to Houston to be with his sisters who had moved a few years back.  

Moving to a new town is challenging, so we are incredibly proud of him for not losing focus and continuing along his higher education journey. He found out about Capital IDEA Houston through the PTA Program Director and was able to get his second year of tuition, books, fees, supplies and test fees, all fully funded by CIH. He graduated from the Physical Therapy Assistant Program at Houston Community College in July 2022 and now he’s gainfully employed as an Aquatic Therapist at Texas Orthopedic Hospital. 

I recently caught up with him to ask him about his move and his experience working with CIH. Below is the condensed and edited version of our interview.  


You graduated a few months ago, what was finishing the program like? 

Finishing the HCC PTA program was surreal. It was a huge life-changing achievement but the preparation process to pass my board exams had just begun. Hence, it was a bittersweet feeling. I felt very blessed and thankful for sharing graduation with all my fellow classmates, professors and family members. 

How did you find out about Capital IDEA Houston?  

 My former PTA program director, Michelle Voight, informed us all about this incredible organization and opportunity for assistance. She encouraged us to research Capital IDEA and its purpose and the rest was history. 

What were your initial impressions of CIH?
Capital IDEA Houston is unlike any other organization. Their dedication and commitment to serving the Houston community is unmatched. I was extremely impressed with everyone's drive and genuine care for its participants. My career navigators were always friendly and available for assistance regardless of the root of the problem. They eventually became like family.

You mentioned having to take your exams while you were at your last clinical rotation. How have things been since taking the certification exam? 

Taking my board exam was a huge weight off my shoulders. I was able to focus on self-care and other extra-curricular activities I wasn't able to do due to our busy schedule. 

As someone who was able to receive a full year of sponsorship from CIH, which support had the biggest impact on you?
Our monthly online meetings. This was an opportunity to disconnect from all the stress related to school, and connect with other CIH members and career navigators. We discussed topics such as stress management, life and career goals, and financial advising. Additionally, I greatly benefited from one-on-one meetings with my career navigator, as she provided a safe space to discuss other personal topics I may not have been comfortable discussing in groups. As I stated before, the staff at CIH become a family-like support system and I am forever grateful. 

What advice do you have for someone thinking about going back to school? 

Do not underestimate your abilities, and trust your inner voice. Going back to school can be an intimidating goal to achieve, however, never leave yourself wondering: what if?. Being stagnant hinders you more than you can imagine. The only way for personal growth to take place is by stepping out of your comfort zone.

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