Testimonials

“My son, Troy, has progressed a lot with ECI services. Before ECI services, my son was not talking at all. We started ECI services in September of 2019 and have been with ECI for 10 months. My son Troy has really progressed a lot since he started as before, he would just make noises and point at things. Now he’s able to name animals, count to 20 and say his colors. Troy now has consistent language and uses single words and phrases on a daily basis such as dad, pool, cars, trucks and is now able to make his needs and wants known.
His intervention specialist, Miss Z, has been so patient and kind with my son. She is an awesome teacher. ECI services have been a big blessing in our lives.”

South texas Heroes Housing Assistance

COVID-19 has been a challenge for us all including Mr. Martinez. Mr. Martinez, a single father and a veteran of the United States Army, was working as a construction worker and lost his job after the pandemic hit. He applied for unemployment and was able to manage his bills for a short time until his savings and unemployment depleted. Once this happened, Mr. Martinez was unable to keep up with his bills and was facing eviction. With no other resources available to him and in fear of having to live in his vehicle with his son, Mr. Martinez reached out for assistance.

Through an agency-based referral system called UniteUs, Mr. Martinez was quickly referred to CACOST’s South Texas Heroes Housing Assistance program (STHHA). This program is supported by a grant from the Texas Veterans Commission fund for veterans assistance. With the help of his STHHA Veteran Service Coordinator (VSC) who provided rental and case management services, Mr. Martinez was able to avoid eviction. The VSC referred Mr. Martinez to Texas State Technical College where he was able to enroll in classes and eventually found full-time employment. He and his son are no longer worried about how they will meet their basic needs.

"I applied for utility assistance for the first time 2 years ago and the funds you assisted me with were very generous. I just recently applied for assistance again when a friend told me CACOST was assisting with additional funds. I am still disabled, but am currently awaiting approval for a pain stimulation implant. My goal is to get back to working even if it is only part time. I have a Masters Degree and my goal in life was not to be at home relying on assistance from government programs. I am, however, so very grateful for your generous assistance during the pandemic. Having to purchase extra items to keep us safe or occupy ourselves has been really hard on me financially. I hope that I get approved for the implant and be able to return to work, perhaps even full-time.”

-M.O.G.

“I am very grateful to CACOST for helping me pay my light bill. Without your agency's help it would be impossible for me to pay my light bill on a month to month basis. Your representative in the Harlingen office has been very helpful with getting my application processed and notifying me of the outcome."

-I.S.

Head Start

I am a mother of 5 girls- yes, 5 girls! They range in ages from 19 years to 7months old. I first learned about the Expectant Mothers Program a little over three years ago. I was a teacher's aide at that time at Brooks County ISD and a part-time student. I then made the decision to quit my job and pursue college full-time. I went on to earn my Associate degree in Art at Coastal Bend College. I had "eyes on me" with my 5 girls so I decided to keep going. You see, I was a teen mom. We were even homeless at one point in our lives, so I was and still am driven for change and success. I applied at TAMUK and was accepted. I earned my Bachelor's degree in Education EC-6 with a supplement in Bilingual Education in May 2021. The Expectant Mothers Program paved the way for me to become a 1st grade teacher at the district I was once an aide at for many years. I was the parent that was there at exactly 3pm to pick up my baby. I was the parent scheduling school and house duties around Head Start hours so I could accomplish my goals. However, I was never alone. Some of the staff would check in on me, not only as part of their job, but as genuine friends who wanted to see me succeed. My story continues because I am not finished. I am in the process of getting fully certified as a teacher now. I am also piloting two new curricula for my district this school year. I WILL get my Master of Education. I am a first generation graduate and now own my home. From homeless and uneducated to educated and a homeowner. I am a testimony that Abriendo Puertas, Early Head Start, and the Expectant Mothers Program are essential and I expect many more success stories to come. My oldest daughter is now a college student at UTRGV Edinburg. We defied the odds! We made it! My story is not over yet, but until my next chapter I will title this one, to be continued…”

-A.B.

Federally Qualified Health Center

“I applied for the program in April 2020 so I could get help with getting my medications since I hadn’t seen a doctor in over 5 years. I suffer from chronic pain, which started about 10 years ago. I also suffer from depression (I think I might be bipolar) and have a history of suicidal thoughts (none right now). I also have a history of alcohol and substance abuse; I have tried to stop drinking but was unsuccessful. Due to my drinking, I developed liver cirrhosis with Hepatitis C. In May 2020, I went the clinic in Sinton to start seeking care and discuss these issues. The nurse practitioner did labs, prescribed me medications, and set an appointment for me to see the substance abuse counselor one week later. Two weeks after my first appointment, I followed back up with my nurse practitioner, and she helped me find help to get treatment for my Hep C and see a liver specialist through the Methodist Ministries. With that referral, I was able to get treatment and more tests done, including a colonoscopy.

I have continued to follow up with the substance abuse counselor and with my regular checkups with my nurse practitioner and have been clean and sober from drugs and alcohol for over a year.”

-T.N.

Early Childhood Intervention

“Mikhail is a wonderful little boy that my husband and I have had the privilege of watching grow, and learn, and explore the world; however, we feel strongly that a lot of this is in great part because of the support and tools we received as a family from the Early Childhood Intervention program.

ECI came to our home and helped us by assessing our concerns related to Mikhail’s development. From nutritional needs, to physical therapy, to speech therapy, ECI Project Niños helped us along the way. The program worked with us in a very family centric manner and not only focused on working with Mikhail, but taught us to work as a family. In doing so, Mikhail received well rounded support from everyone he approached in his home, from us as his parents, to his grandparents. Our wonderful therapists taught us that all progress is progress, no matter how small it may seem. Patience is key and we cannot expect immediate results after one or two sessions. Mikhail began with small steps alluding to sounds or making hand gestures, and slowly he was striving to make words and then string sentences together. His physical therapist also guided us on what to avoid, what to look out for, and how to exercise in fun manners with Mikhail while allowing breaks for him. After the pandemic hit, we transitioned to virtual therapy, which was a little different for us as a family, but since we had made it a habit to engage with Mikhail on a daily basis in his goals rather than just once or twice a week, it helped to make a smooth transition. ECI is a program I recommend for families to help them learn how to give their children the extra push they need to succeed.”

Story written and shared by Mikhail’s mother

COVID-19 has been a challenge for us all including Mr. Martinez. Mr. Martinez, a single father and a veteran of the United States Army, was working as a construction worker and lost his job after the pandemic hit. He applied for unemployment and was able to manage his bills for a short time until his savings and unemployment depleted. Once this happened, Mr. Martinez was unable to keep up with his bills and was facing eviction. With no other resources available to him and in fear of having to live in his vehicle with his son, Mr. Martinez reached out for assistance.

Through an agency-based referral system called UniteUs, Mr. Martinez was quickly referred to CACOST’s South Texas Heroes Housing Assistance program (STHHA). This program is supported by a grant from the Texas Veterans Commission fund for veterans assistance. With the help of his STHHA Veteran Service Coordinator (VSC) who provided rental and case management services, Mr. Martinez was able to avoid eviction. The VSC referred Mr. Martinez to Texas State Technical College where he was able to enroll in classes and eventually found full-time employment. He and his son are no longer worried about how they will meet their basic needs.
“I applied for utility assistance for the first time 2 years ago and the funds you assisted me with were very generous. I just recently applied for assistance again when a friend told me CACOST was assisting with additional funds. I am still disabled, but am currently awaiting approval for a pain stimulation implant. My goal is to get back to working even if it is only part time. I have a Masters Degree and my goal in life was not to be at home relying on assistance from government programs. I am, however, so very grateful for your generous assistance during the pandemic. Having to purchase extra items to keep us safe or occupy ourselves has been really hard on me financially. I hope that I get approved for the implant and be able to return to work, perhaps even full-time.”

-M.O.G.


“I am very grateful to CACOST for helping me pay my light bill. Without your agency’s help it would be impossible for me to pay my light bill on a month to month basis. Your representative in the Harlingen office has been very helpful with getting my application processed and notifying me of the outcome.”

-I.S.
I am a mother of 5 girls- yes, 5 girls! They range in ages from 19 years to 7months old. I first learned about the Expectant Mothers Program a little over three years ago. I was a teacher’s aide at that time at Brooks County ISD and a part-time student. I then made the decision to quit my job and pursue college full-time. I went on to earn my Associate degree in Art at Coastal Bend College. I had “eyes on me” with my 5 girls so I decided to keep going. You see, I was a teen mom. We were even homeless at one point in our lives, so I was and still am driven for change and success. I applied at TAMUK and was accepted. I earned my Bachelor’s degree in Education EC-6 with a supplement in Bilingual Education in May 2021. The Expectant Mothers Program paved the way for me to become a 1st grade teacher at the district I was once an aide at for many years. I was the parent that was there at exactly 3pm to pick up my baby. I was the parent scheduling school and house duties around Head Start hours so I could accomplish my goals. However, I was never alone. Some of the staff would check in on me, not only as part of their job, but as genuine friends who wanted to see me succeed. My story continues because I am not finished. I am in the process of getting fully certified as a teacher now. I am also piloting two new curricula for my district this school year. I WILL get my Master of Education. I am a first generation graduate and now own my home. From homeless and uneducated to educated and a homeowner. I am a testimony that Abriendo Puertas, Early Head Start, and the Expectant Mothers Program are essential and I expect many more success stories to come. My oldest daughter is now a college student at UTRGV Edinburg. We defied the odds! We made it! My story is not over yet, but until my next chapter I will title this one, to be continued…”

A.B.
“I applied for the program in April 2020 so I could get help with getting my medications since I hadn’t seen a doctor in over 5 years. I suffer from chronic pain, which started about 10 years ago. I also suffer from depression (I think I might be bipolar) and have a history of suicidal thoughts (none right now). I also have a history of alcohol and substance abuse; I have tried to stop drinking but was unsuccessful. Due to my drinking, I developed liver cirrhosis with Hepatitis C. In May 2020, I went the clinic in Sinton to start seeking care and discuss these issues. The nurse practitioner did labs, prescribed me medications, and set an appointment for me to see the substance abuse counselor one week later. Two weeks after my first appointment, I followed back up with my nurse practitioner, and she helped me find help to get treatment for my Hep C and see a liver specialist through the Methodist Ministries. With that referral, I was able to get treatment and more tests done, including a colonoscopy.

I have continued to follow up with the substance abuse counselor and with my regular checkups with my nurse practitioner and have been clean and sober from drugs and alcohol for over a year.”

-T.N.
“Mikhail is a wonderful little boy that my husband and I have had the privilege of watching grow, and learn, and explore the world; however, we feel strongly that a lot of this is in great part because of the support and tools we received as a family from the Early Childhood Intervention program.

ECI came to our home and helped us by assessing our concerns related to Mikhail’s development. From nutritional needs, to physical therapy, to speech therapy, ECI Project Niños helped us along the way. The program worked with us in a very family centric manner and not only focused on working with Mikhail, but taught us to work as a family. In doing so, Mikhail received well rounded support from everyone he approached in his home, from us as his parents, to his grandparents. Our wonderful therapists taught us that all progress is progress, no matter how small it may seem. Patience is key and we cannot expect immediate results after one or two sessions. Mikhail began with small steps alluding to sounds or making hand gestures, and slowly he was striving to make words and then string sentences together. His physical therapist also guided us on what to avoid, what to look out for, and how to exercise in fun manners with Mikhail while allowing breaks for him. After the pandemic hit, we transitioned to virtual therapy, which was a little different for us as a family, but since we had made it a habit to engage with Mikhail on a daily basis in his goals rather than just once or twice a week, it helped to make a smooth transition. ECI is a program I recommend for families to help them learn how to give their children the extra push they need to succeed.”

Story written and shared by Mikhail’s mother