Vanessa Richards is a single mother of four children and a US Army veteran. After linking up with SER, she got her finances in order, completed valuable training, and now works in the construction industry.
Vanessa Richards is a single mother of four children and a US Army veteran. She first found out about SER services when David Fernandez, SER Program Coordinator, presented a SER Financial Opportunity Center workshop at the Houston Community College Northeast Campus CDL Bridge program. During that workshop the students explored their beliefs, values, and goals about personal finances and banking. Mr. Fernandez was also able to coach Vanessa’s class about how to vet a potential employer, polish their interviewing skills, and the overall job search process.
Later, Vanessa met with David Fernandez to complete SER assessments, explore her specific career and training options, and to assess her financial situation and credit. With the help of her SER financial coach, Vanessa was able to evaluate her budget to identify areas where she could economize. She also met with Buddy Oviol, SER Veterans Specialist, to connect with SER Veterans resources.
After learning about all that SER had to offer, Vanessa connected her teenage son, Vance, to SER Career Coaching and SER Employment services. Mother and son were enrolled into the AVANCE Healthy Family and Community Workshop at SER, where they learned skills that complement job readiness like goal setting, conflict resolution, and effective communication. Vance went through a career exploration and job search process with the help of his own SER career coach.
The next step for Vanessa was to complete her CDL training at Houston Community College. By working with her SER Financial coach to minimize expenses and stretch her monthly budget, she was able to pay for her new TWIC card. On September 17, 2015 Vanessa started working full time with the possibility for overtime at Cemex. She works as a Ready Mix Driver, earning $14.68/hour, averaging 60-65 hours a week.
Vanessa is now applying her budgeting skills to monitor her monthly spending of her new income. With plans to pay off her car and her student loans, and with the help of SER’s Financial Coaching and services, Vanessa hopes to build her credit score and lower her debt-to-income ratio so she can eventually buy her first home.
To learn more about SER's Financial Opportunity Center, click here.