"I am 37. I grew up in East St. Louis, Illinois. I spent 15 years there and then 10 years in Atlanta, Georgia. I had an extended family: I had six bonus siblings from my step-father.
[After high school] I worked, did a little bit of college, and that's it. I got married, and I moved to Dallas, Texas. I worked for a subprime lender. I only did that for two years. After that I took time off from work and raised my three kids, ages 8, 6, and 5.
I was in Dallas for two years, and then we moved to the state of Washington for a year. This is all because of my husband's job. And then we relocated to Houston in 2009.
I hadn't been doing anything, and then I just decided 'you know what? I've been idle for 8 years’ and I needed a way to re-introduce myself back into the workforce. I just so happened to be on Facebook, and I saw an article [about SER’s BankWork$ program]. You know how they have the sponsored articles? They change people's lives! It's unbelievable. Because nobody clicks on sponsored posts. You know, you look at it and go 'nah.' But I clicked, and I gave Erica [Tirado, SER Workforce Development Lead] a call, and then I verified that it was free. Because I was like ‘you're giving out this good stuff away for free? OK, sign me up!' And that's pretty much how I arrived [to SER].
The people [at SER] were so personable. Jose [Velez, SER BankWork$ Instructor and Coordinator] and Erica, getting down on your level, they never make you feel inadequate. It's a good team.
My favorite part of BankWork$ was the class interaction. We did a lot of hands-on activities; they came in with the register, and we actually did transactions. Just being in that real-time activity, even though it was class-oriented, was really fun.
I actually found a job while I was still in the classroom. There were phenomenal resources that were available. They came in and helped us with resumes - the wording, and how to make things more succinct. I had been applying, and I actually got on with a credit union, just before I finished. And it was just based off of my experience that I had while I was [in BankWork$].
I started on December 12, and it's going great. I'm not doing the face-to-face position. I'm on more of the back office.
For me, [BankWork$] helped me get more comfortable with being back in a working environment, the ins and outs. Some of the things that we learned about, like being empathetic, those things translated over into my job now. So it was a really relevant course for me.
My short term goal is just getting the system down that we're using. And my long-term goal would be getting all the knowledge that I need, and possibly move over to the mortgage side. So getting licensed and all of that good stuff.
[My credit union] is a really good company, with really nice people, and I really like it. I really enjoy it. But I wouldn't even be here if it wasn't for BankWork$. And that's just honest."
if you'd like to learn more about the BankWork$ program.