Carlos Valenzuela's Story

"You don't feel alone, you feel how people care."

Featuring: Carlos Valenzuela, Hether Valenzuela, Carlos’s daughter; Maria Valenzuela, Carlos’s wife; Bishop Reyes, Carlos’s bishop; Kirk Chapman, DI development counselor; Ken Grow, DI job coach; Dessin Meyer, DI store manager; John Tilley, pharmacy chain owner

Carlos – I have a great concern for my children and their future. That is what made me decide to come to this country. What I like about this country—this country gives opportunities to those who have the desire to succeed. Sadly, my country does not provide those opportunities.

When I was in Peru, I had a pharmacy for 28 years. When I first got here, I applied to Rite Aid. I applied to every pharmacy. I would even walk in to work cleaning floors. But they didn’t . . . all of them simply told us that there was nothing.              

Hether – As a family, we were really worried at times.

Maria – I would always pray and ask the Lord, “My God, help us because we are here, we don’t have anyone—only our family, but we don’t, don’t, don’t know what to do.”

Carlos – That’s when I decided to talk to my bishop.

Bishop Reyes – I met the Valenzuela family, and they had a lot of needs. One of their needs was the need of a job. Deseret Industries was a way to help.

Kirk – Deseret Industries is a place of little miracles. People come in not being able to find jobs, not being able to work. And they start seeing that they have potential and abilities, and then many of them go out and find a job that they didn’t think they could hold.

Carlos wanted to move forward, but he didn’t know what he could do. And so we began working with him, got him into some English classes.

Ken – Carlos originally was on the docks, unloading trucks.

Carlos – At the beginning, it was a drastic change for me to work in a pharmacy and then work as a driver’s assistant. But it was a job, and I had to feed my kids. And I said, “I want to drive. I want to learn to drive trucks.” And they told me, “What you need to do is to keep learning English. Because you were a pharmacist in your country, you have to accomplish that here.”

DI staffer – Well, you’re doing good so far. You know, you were able to talk English to me, and that’s a plus.

Ken – I just felt that he was better than just being a day laborer somewhere even though that’s what he was willing to accept.

Dessin – We paid for his tuition to get his pharmaceutical certificate. In addition to the vocational training they get here at Deseret Industries, we can put them with a business so the associate has the opportunity to engage in something they are interested in, and it’s absolutely free to the business. We even provide the workers' compensation package.

John – The thing that really attracted me to this business partnership with Deseret Industries was the fact that they told us they had done their homework, basically, to find the right person for us. And they were paying the salary for the first three months as a trial period. For myself as a business owner, it was really a no-risk situation.

Dessin – There is no commitment on the part of the business to hire the individual—just provide training.

Carlos – This was a great opportunity for me.

Kirk – He was so good there. Not only did they love him—he loved the work he was doing, and it just changed his whole countenance.

Carlos – Deseret Industries not only sees my need of work, but they care about my career. And that is what I’m doing now.

John – OK, we appreciate everything you do, Carlos. You are doing a great job, so we’re very, very thankful and very happy to have you here.

After having Carlos for three months, we hired him. He turned out to be a great hire for us. He’s been such a joy to have in our business because he’s so great with all of our patients. Everyone knows Carlos when they come in. I just can’t say enough good things about him and the program.

Kirk – The Valenzuela family came to life through this. His wife, Maria, asked for retail training. We were able to put her on the retail floor. She gained that training. And then we placed her in a business partnership with the same pharmacy chain that Carlos was working at, and they hired her. Their daughter, Hether, came in about the same time and went into training to be a CNA and went and got a job in the first hospital that she applied to.

Ken – The family who came here struggling when they initially arrived, in less than a year, beat all expectations.

Hether – We didn’t know what to do. When we found Deseret Industries it was like . . . like a light in our life.

Carlos – Now I’m the bishop of the ward. I would love if all the members who are in need may have this opportunity.

Ken – He can now refer individuals here to help them, because he knows right from the ground floor what we can actually do.

Carlos – My two older sons are going to college here. I couldn’t have given them this opportunity if it wasn’t for Deseret Industries.

Maria – Now we can reach the goal we had as a family before we came—to keep moving forward.

Carlos – You don’t feel alone; you feel how people care. And I believe that is the feeling I have inside me about Deseret Industries.