Alpha Home is a community of second chances. Just ask Regina Canales. After years of addiction, family strife, and the pending loss of her children, Regina knew it was time to change and dedicate her life to the memory of her father.
"So I gave my life to God," she says.
In 2007, a friend suggested she apply for a job at Alpha Home, but fear of rejection because of her criminal history kept her from calling. But she needed a job, made that call and was hired as a house manager--only the beginning of her journey.
"I received a lot of encouragement at Alpha Home, especially from (residential counselor) Maggie Rad, who told me to go back to school. Again, I was afraid of rejection," says Regina, who was later promoted to transportation manager.
Despite her fears, she talked to Dr. Ed Bergen at San Antonio College, who gave her a list of things to do to become an LCDC. "It was overwhelming." But in 2011, Regina knew the time had come. "I went back to see Dr. Bergen, and he gave me the same list. Now it was doable."
"When Regina told me she was going back to school to become a counselor," Maggie says, "I was not surprised. I have been blessed to witness her blossom into her role as a counselor. Regina is a woman of deep faith, courage, commitment and compassion."
To pursue her degree and complete her practicum hours, Regina resigned as Alpha Home's transportation manager and started work as a late-shift house manager. After graduation in May 2014, she was seeking a counselor position while volunteering at Alpha Home. Her dream was to work here but knew no positions were open. Residential Program Director Nancy Trevino encouraged her to submit her resume, and two months later, Regina was hired as a residential counselor. At the Aug. 29 Commencement, Regina handed a completion certificate to her first client.
"I know what God has done for me, and He can do the same for my clients. I never thought that everything I had been through could lead me to help others," she says. "I tell my clients we are all on the same road--I'm just a little ahead of you and can point out some of the potholes along the way."
Alpha Home is here not just to help the people we serve, Regina says. Alpha Home was here for her and is a part of her and her family.
"I love working at Alpha Home. I do the best I can every day and live with the spirit of excellence. I do everything as if God is watching."