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Individual Success Story


“I recognized that the work I was doing was important and noble, but it was not sustainable for me.”

“Listening to your inner voice can be scary, yet amazing.” 

Belinda’s* journey began when she travelled from Minnesota to visit a friend in Phoenix. While in the Valley, she felt a strong connection to the Southwest people and landscape. Upon returning to Minnesota, Belinda did some introspection while sitting in the waiting area of her salon and spa. 

“I knew I had made it,” Belinda said. “My hard work and determination led me to be self-sufficient and I felt deep honor in that moment, yet something else within me was stirring. This manifested itself in a strong pull and inner knowing that others like me with similar backgrounds were facing challenges and obstacles. “ 

Belinda recalled looking out to the night sky from her condo, thinking that she wanted God to lead her and use her in lessening others’ suffering. Things moved easily and seamlessly from there, and she sold her business within thirty days and was on her way to Arizona.  

Once in Phoenix, she waited for the unknown to unfold. To make ends meet until she felt called to her next step, Belinda began working in the beauty industry, but it no longer felt right for her.  

“Soon I saw the road ahead of me. I felt led to work at a high school district, but the pay was low, and I needed two other part-time jobs to make ends meet,” Belinda remembered. “I recognized that the work I was doing was important and noble, but it was not sustainable for me. This led me to reach out to Fresh Start Women’s Foundation for guidance, support, and assistance.” 

Fresh Start helped Belinda to understand her values and strengths, and supported her financially through an educational scholarship where she was able to attain her Associates in Arts, Bachelor in Social Work, and her Master’s in Social Work and Public Administration. 

“I’m now set up to make the system change I’ve always wanted to create,” Belinda smiled. “Thanks to the support and belief of Fresh Start Women’s Foundation, staff and funders. In the end, I found myself by losing myself.” 

Belinda reminds us that we can bloom into the best version of ourselves when we listen to our inner voice and put in the work it takes to change and pursue our dreams. Fresh Start is always there to encourage and support women who are determined to transform their futures for the better.