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Victorya Thibodeaux

At a young age of 16/17, Victorya Thibodeaux lived with her parents in Ft. Bend county where she attended Marshall High School and became a mother for the first time.

“I was a teen mom,” said Victorya. “I was the first in my school to have a child. There was so much that came with that -- the rumors, all the stares, all the followers.”

Victorya made it her mission to beat the stigma of teen parenting - she wanted to show everyone that she can stand on her own two feet. When Victorya graduated high school, she enrolled at Houston Community College to major in Criminal Justice while maintaining a full-time position. Once she was able, Victorya moved out of her parents’ home and into an apartment.

 Despite unforeseen circumstances, Victorya had to drop her courses at HCC and enroll at Strayer University while continuing to work for the Ft. Bend School District.

The troubles Victorya was faced with didn’t to go away any time soon. The more hours Victorya picked up at work, the more her grades began to decline. Victorya was dropped from all her courses without notice.

Victorya’s transportation was unreliable and made it hard for her to sustain a steady schedule.

“I was working and going to school,” said Victorya. “When I moved back to my mom’s house, the red car I was driving was down,” said Victorya. “When I got the car back up and running… [someone stole the car I was given from my kid’s father]. I was unemployed, with 2 kids. I had to figure out a way to get $588 to get my car out of the tow yard, get 3 new tires, [and] get my gear shift fixed. I had to wait until I got my income tax to get my car fixed”.

Victorya knew she had to find a job quickly - worked at Crayon Academy as a preschool teacher. Although Victorya’s passion was working with children, she wanted to venture into a new career with more opportunities.

“I went to indeed.com. I was trying to step out of my comfort zone from child care and find a different job,” said Victorya. “Banking was always kind of interesting to me. I thought I was applying for a banking position. When they called me, I thought I was getting called for an interview, but it ended up being a recruitment [for the BankWork$ training]. Once she told me about the program and everything they had to offer, I felt like ‘what else do I have to lose?’ I didn’t have anything else going on.

“[Before SER] I was trying to go going to school anyways…so why not go for the little education, learn something, build my resume up…I looked at it as a pretty good opportunity.

The vetting process for the BankWork$ training program required commitment from clients to meet three times a week at the either the Ft. Bend County or Harris County location from 9-4pm for 8 weeks.

“I had fun -- I was skeptical when Erica first told me the course was Monday, Wednesday, and Friday all day and I’m not getting paid, but at the same time, what’s the difference in going to school full time,” said Victorya.  “I enjoyed myself, [Erica] made it fun. She made it to where everyone could relate. She pulled everyone’s situation and related it back to banking and with her own personal experiences. I liked that we had to come dressed up like going to work, because I came from a casual setting, I always had to wear jeans and a ponytail. Being able to dress up, made you want to take extra time out in the morning.”

After completion of the BankWork$ course in March 2017, Victorya and her cohorts celebrated with a graduation and a hiring event with several of the BW banking partners that followed shortly after.

“I felt really accomplished…especially because of the whole graduation thing,” said Victorya. “I don’t really have a lot of family support. I always had to be my own self motivator.”

During the hiring event, Victorya interview with several banking partners, including Capital One.

“For me personally, getting a job period is hard. I don’t know if it’s my name… if I don’t know how to answer questions properly on applications, but I always have a hard time finding a job - it doesn’t matter what county I am looking in. When I do get jobs, I’m there for a long period,” said Victorya.

Being apart of the BankWork$ program enhanced skills Victorya once thought she mastered.  The BankWork$ program taught her how to conduct herself during interviews, answer interview questions with appropriate answers, and add the experience she needed on her resume.

After two long months, in May 2017, Victorya was offered a Teller position with Capital One Bank.

“It happened for a reason,” said Victorya. “I was unemployed from August 2016 to until May 15th.  I really feel like I would be sitting in the same spot. Whether it be that I am constantly looking for a job or filling out applications… I feel like I would be in the same spot if it wasn’t for the BankWork$ program.”

“Be your own motivation,” said Victorya. “if you go by what anybody think, you might not do it. It takes dedication.”

Now at the age of 27, Victorya plans to stay with Capital One for as long as she can, complete her Criminal Justice degree through Strayer University, and eventually obtain her real-estate license.

“I want to finish Criminal justice, I hate to start something and not finish,” said Victorya. “But, I also want to go for real estate. I know that in banking, they would do a real-estate [course] once I become a banker.

With her immediate goals set, Victorya sets her eyes on her long-term goal of owning her own tumble bus.

“I want to have my own business. I want to have a tumble bus,” said Victorya. “A tumble bus is a regular school bus but you would take the seats out and put gymnastic equipment in there for children to play with.”