Vanessa Nunez

[cnn-photo-caption image=

caption=”Vanessa Nunez, 19, found academic success with the help of Genesys Works.”]
If Vanessa Nunez needed school supplies, she needed to buy them herself. Same went for food and clothes. She started working, busing tables at a local restaurant, to help her single mom pay the bills. Throughout high school, she went to school during the day and worked until 1 or 2 in the morning.

With all her focus on making money to survive, her school work suffered. She had little educational direction until she joined Genesys Works, an organization dedicated to teaching underperforming high school students computer skills and placing them in corporate internships. “Had I not joined Genesys, my life could have been typical: minimum wage, maybe two jobs, no benefits, no vacation, no holidays off, and a lifetime of living paycheck-to-paycheck,” Vanessa, now 19 and a student at University of Houston Downtown majoring in Management Information Systems, says.

Starting out, the training for the organization just added one more thing in her busy schedule. But, after pulling triple duty, she landed a paid IT internship at Marathon Oil that she started her senior year in high school and has continued through college. And earlier this summer, she represented the organization for the launch of the White House Office of Social Innovation. When she walked into the Oval Office to meet President Obama, she recalls he said, “Hello, Vanessa.” She remembers, “Suddenly, all of those long hours of work were worth it. The president knew my name!”

Update: Watch the Live interview

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10 Responses to Vanessa Nunez

  1. Jose pereznegron says:

    Vannesa you are one freaking awesome person can I have your autograph too? Lol

  2. Alejandra Quinones says:

    I have to say that I see you as a role model. I joines Genesys Works this year to and now I have a job at Dynegy. Seeing you succeed in life really represents us latinos in a good way!!!Congrats!

  3. Rulonda Fuller says:


    Alll I can say is that your story is truly remarkable. You are indeed a role model and a truly blessed young woman. Your story will definately motivate and inspire young women across this nation, myself being one of them. Life can be rough sometimes, but you’ve proven that all things are possible of being overcome with persisentance and a little extra help. May God bless you.

  4. Sean Forbes says:

    Congratulations Vanessa! Keep up all the hard work….. it always pays off in the end!

  5. Garren Lesko says:

    this girls gotta be like 30 years old.

  6. Adan A. Buta says:

    Empowering & Thankful
    Dear sister! first of all a very big hallah to you the court queen and hope you are doing great by the moment.congradulations once again for opening your self gates to your legion of fans around the world.thats history in the making and you are playing a very inspirational role many ladies of your age has never achieved. Hope that all is well with you. I would like to address how excited to have you as my sister. Is not simply an inspiration to you? It is an inspiration to me as well. Why, because I was able to openly express myself. The weight of the questions that I am asked during my stay with friends. It is amazing to be able to see on newspapers and websites. As a child, we all have dreams & I am fortunate that I have been able to live my dreams. the path of the just shines brighter & brighter so as you always do well your integrity shall speak boldly on thy behalf as well. You’re a true champion on duty & off the court sowing seeds that will grow throughout many generations & bring forth a great increase.everything starts with a thought then follows a picture plus images then ideas & methods. What makes a great chanpion of your professionalism when you get the right thought with a picture you run with it & follow through with an expression of thy heart which produces awesome actions that changes not only thy game but thy self. Where people better take you more seriously. A female eagle does not avoid storms but rises above them & fly over them every other bird fly to get away from the storm. But when your fearless & bold & always aware nothing by any means can distract you…i may not be with you at this moment but i’ll keep you in my prayers both of you as your unique originals & not copies setting a standard for many Generations to follow God Bless Your Hearts & Your Love Ones Also….I have few more goals that I would like to accomplish. I am just getting started.

  7. Kentera Massey says:

    That a hard job that you are adieveing to do and school. i work but not those long hours. more power to up good luck.

  8. Karterra says:

    Well i think what these people are doing is perfect.If they want to help the united states then they should because no one else wants to.I really like what vannessas doing with helping people shes inspiring people to think better and be a much better person.Even though

  9. Vanessa says:

    Thank you everyone for your kind words. With a little dedication we can all achieve what we want. Strive today…succeed tomorrow!

  10. Garren Lesko says:

    Ms. Knight has dreams about me!

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