SER-Jobs for Progress—Improving Lives...One Job at a Time.

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Melissa Precella

"I always wanted to be a teller in the banking industry... So I took this BankWork$ class, and almost immediately had two job offers. Being a mother of six, coming in from five to six years of just being a [stay at home mom], this is an excellent opportunity and I can't stop smiling about it."

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“I've got a set of 5-year old twins (a girl and a boy) who are really good in school. My son is a spelling bee champ and my daughter was the number one or two reader in the school. I’m stressing the importance of education on them early. I truly am. I also have a 4-year old daughter, an almost 2-year old, and my set of twin boys just turned 3 months old.  

When I was 3 or 4 days out of the hospital after my last set of twins, I went to Workforce Solutions and I told myself 'I'm gonna get a job. I'm good at cashiering, so that's what I'm going to look for.' I looked at the bulletin board and there was a flyer for BankWork$. I had never heard of that, but it said '8 weeks long,” so I thought to myself 'ok, sure, I can try that!'

I called on a Thursday, was interviewed on a Friday, and the following Monday was when the class began, so I barely made the cut!

I always wanted to be a teller in the banking industry. In the early 90s, you either had to know someone or you had to have prior banking experience. So how do you get experience if no one wants to hire you? So I took this BankWork$ class, and almost immediately had two job offers. Being a mother of six, coming in from five to six years of just being a [stay at home mom], this is an excellent opportunity and I can't stop smiling about it. It was a Godsend.

When I get into one of these companies, a goal for me is to enter as a teller and I would hope that I will have the ability to move up and advance to at least to a management position. Because I'm a wonderful leader. I know how to lead people. I have been leading since a young age.

I'm 37 years old. Born and raised in Houston. I’m a high school graduate and I've got a bit of a college education. I was a Mexican-American all my life until about 5 or 6 years ago, when I discovered I’m a Native American, and I’m now a certified Choctaw-Apache tribe member.

I would love to own my own home in the next five years. My family has lived in rental properties all my life and working in the banking industry will teach me more about the loan process. I would love to have a home big enough for my children – right now they share two bedrooms, and that's a little crowded.

SER has become a wonderful, wonderful part of my family now. They helped me out so much, just with the information that they've given me. I didn't know that there were opportunities out there like this. That there were agencies and people to assist me this way. You got me back on my feet. And I will not forget – I will make sure that I will give back to my community. You helped me when I needed the most help, and I didn't even know it.

I'm grateful, and I'm happy. I'm just satisfied with the fact that I've got my opportunity, and I've got my foot in the door, and I want to be able to say, 'you know what? Thank you so much for believing in me. Because now I'm here, and I won't forget you guys.' I mean that from the bottom of my heart.”

UPDATE: Shortly after this interview, Melissa accepted a Lead Teller position with Wells Fargo