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Individual Success Story


“Fresh Start really gave me a way to talk about my career skills in a positive light. It gave me a lot of confidence.”

She’s Hired!

Abigail* felt completely stuck in her career as an educator at a local preschool and with no upward mobility, she struggled with perpetual burn out.  

“I was in complete frustration about my job,” she recalled. “It was year three for me, and I wasn’t getting put in positions that I wanted to be in and I hit a wall. I started thinking, ‘I don’t even want to walk into this building,’ and I knew I needed something else that I could hang on to as a jumping off point.” 

Abigail knew she could utilize her current skills to move into another job in the education field, but it would most likely be limited to a lateral move without any advancement. Even though it was scary to contemplate a career change, she knew she needed to make a change to spark opportunity. 

A door opened for Abigail when her boyfriend’s sister, who works at Fresh Start, shared all the resources offered through the organization for women just like her.  

“I decided to apply to the Women in Finance cohort because I wanted something that had room to grow and felt professional. From the second I reached out, I was encouraged to apply right away and my entire experience was just great from the start,” she remembered. 

Once the course started, Abigail was surprised by the number of transferable skills from her experience in education to the finance industry. Working in education, she learned customer service and how to discuss sensitive topics, both of which are essential skills utilized in banking and finance. 

“Fresh Start really gave me a way to talk about my career skills in a positive light. It gave me a lot of confidence. Not that I have a ton of amazing experience, but everyone here just cheers you on and they empower you to say, ‘I am good, and I am going to be able to do this.’ and that’s so great.” 

Abigail kept her job at the preschool while participating in the Women in Finance cohort. She also rode her bike to Fresh Start every day for classes after her boyfriend’s car broke down and they became a one-car household. Abigail recalled how the situation would have been the perfect excuse to quit, but her desire to make it work, no matter how difficult it got, proved just how much she wanted a change.  

“I really wanted to do this cohort for myself. I am not great on follow-through, so finishing this program for me was validation that I can finish things. And I want a better future for my boyfriend and I,” she said. 

Abigail found that Fresh Start provided support in the areas she needed most. Specifically, improving her resume, interpersonal skills, and effective cover letter-writing. She laughed remembering before Fresh Start, if a job application required a cover letter, she would not apply.  

“I am surprised at how comfortable it has been to lean on this community. I’m not the type to ask for help, but this has been great for that,” she said. “In order to really feel your best self, and feel self-sufficient, you do have to lean on people. We need emotional support.” 

Abigail aimed to find a career with a company that she could see herself working for long-term. She loved the idea of growing with a company from within and gaining enough financial and career stability to buy a home.  

“The relationship that Fresh Start has with the banks in the area is super, super helpful. I’ve gotten emails and recommendations that I just never would have had in the past, and that has been the most valuable,” said Abigail. 

Before the course even completed, Abigail had already started recommending Fresh Start to some of her friends in the local area that had recently been laid off.  

“The real strength in this course is taking the skills that we already had and explaining how they were linked to finance and how we can spin it in a way that makes us invaluable to a company.” 

Now, Abigail is on the path to self-sufficiency and in a better place to achieve her long-term goals. She takes pride in what she brings to the table and is excited for a career with upward mobility.  

She’s Hired!  

After the Women in Finance cohort, Abigial was hired as a Client Relations Manager at a local wealth management firm.