Earlier this year, I decided to leave my job as a dietary aide. When I started that job, I thought I would progress in the medical field, but being a caregiver takes a lot from you. Adopting my teenage nephew – on top of raising a toddler – threw a wrench into my life and I was getting mentally drained. I knew that I needed a different job with better wages and a more predictable schedule without evening shifts, so I could be there for my family. I have always liked finances and I decided I wanted to learn how to manage my own finances and teach others how to manage theirs. When I mentioned this to my case worker at Arapahoe/Douglas Works, she referred me to Mi Casa Resource Center.
When I first met with someone at Mi Casa, I told them I had only saved up enough money to be unemployed for one month. Well, in that one month, I was able to graduate from Mi Casa’s Financial Services Technical Training and get a job – I couldn’t believe it! I had no previous experience with cash handling or the financial industry, but the class at Mi Casa taught me everything I needed to know to succeed in my new job as a Member Service Representative at a local credit union. They also helped me improve my resume, practice my interview skills, and ease my career transition. But perhaps the most important thing the staff at Mi Casa gave me is a renewed sense of confidence – they helped remind me that I am smart and capable of whatever I put my mind to.
Thanks to the support I received at Mi Casa, I now have a job that I’m passionate about that also has a more family-friendly schedule and a higher salary. However, better wages in this job also led to a challenge of making “too much” money and getting kicked off certain government assistance programs. Luckily, Mi Casa prepared me for this. They connected me with a Financial Coach at mpowered who helped me create a budget that would help me get through the transition of losing some of my benefits. And when my daughter got sick right after I lost Medicaid, a Navigator at Mi Casa helped connect me with Child Health Plan Plus, so I could afford the prescriptions my daughter needed.
Before I came to Mi Casa, I had no idea how much they do to help women like me succeed. But now I know that they will continue to be here for me, even after I’ve graduated from their program. I am now taking advantage of Mi Casa’s new Financial Services Pathway program in partnership with Community College of Aurora (CCA) and Metropolitan State University of Denver (MSU Denver) to earn college credits to jumpstart my education. I’ve enrolled at CCA and will be starting classes in January to earn my Banking Essentials Certificate, which will help me advance in my new career and continue my journey towards personal and financial success.