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Individual Success Story


“The fear of not having a job with all the bills was so exhausting and caused me a lot of anxiety. I wanted to find a program that would hold me accountable.” 

She’s Hired!

With increasing violence and crime within her community, Ann* felt her role as a real estate community manager was starting to get too dangerous. For her safety and with hopes for a new start, she moved to the Phoenix area to find a job and get her personal finances in order. 

“The fear of not having a job with all the bills was so exhausting and caused me a lot of anxiety. I wanted to find a program that would hold me accountable,” Ann said. 

While looking for women’s groups online, Ann found Fresh Start and applied to the Women in Finance cohort. She liked the idea of further understanding her own financial situation while also working toward a new career.  

“Everything Fresh Start offers is what I was looking for. I was afraid to change into something without knowing, and this course offered a transition that would be helpful and make the big change easier. They eliminated that fear of changing career fields,” she said. 

Ann had some experience with banking through her previous career in real estate, but her knowledge of the financial industry expanded during the Women in Finance cohort. She learned about the wide variety of careers under the financial umbrella including customer service, community outreach, IT, and personal and small business banking.  

During the cohort, Ann was shown how many transferrable skills she held from her previous career. This gave her new confidence and helped perfect her elevator pitch. 

“I’ve had this goal to perfect my elevator speech for about two years and I couldn’t figure out which tools and skills to include in such a short time… It was things for all of us to do in the cohort, but we all had to go through it and I’m so happy to finally identify which of my skills are most important,” she said.  

As the cohort reached its completion, Ann was reminded that during her job search, the most important thing was to find a company with a good culture. 

“I used to be afraid and stressed to move jobs. It’s horrible to start a new position and then find out after two or three months that it’s a toxic environment that wasn’t obvious at first,” she said. “So, from now on, I will be proud and look to find a job that I fully fit into, and I know that I want it. Not only for my skillset but as a person.” 

Ann believes if she hadn’t found Fresh Start, she’d still be struggling and playing the guessing game to determine her next career step. 

“I would be in my own head guessing, but not completely sure, and full of doubt. At Fresh Start I still struggled with those things, but we practiced, we said it out loud. Our tutor said yes or no, so it was addressed. I was never left alone to work through my struggles by myself,” she said. 

Ann hopes that other women will find power in their transferrable skills and the courage to chase after their dreams.  

“This course was perfect for finding my confidence. Women who are struggling with finding the job or have a financial struggle, Fresh Start helps you get the confidence to see the light,” Ann said.  

While reflecting on the course, Ann realized that Fresh Start supported her in more ways than solely financial education. 

“Before, I was worried about saying the things that I should’ve been okay with, and I didn’t believe in myself as much as I should have. I was putting my efforts into others and losing the ground under my feet by doing too much. Fresh Start helped me funnel my efforts and address boundaries so when I find myself in that chaos I can funnel efforts in the right direction,” she said. 

“The big thing I would like to say, is thank you to Fresh Start for hosting this program. I got inspired by Fresh Start to believe in myself and I want all women who need that, to find it.” 

She’s Hired! 

After completing the Women in Finance cohort in January 2024, Ann was hired as a Fieldworks Canvasser. She still plans to begin her banking and finance career. Stay tuned!