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Individual Success Story


“What is my value? It feels like a loss for me. I’m in a different country with a different language and I was struggling with where I could start or where I could find my own value.”

She’s Hired!

Over eight years ago, Caihong took a leap of faith as she immigrated to the United States with her husband and five-year-old son in the name of education.  

Her husband aimed to attain his master’s degree from the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University, but that meant the young couple had to leave their entire family and homeland of China to embark on this educational journey.  

Caihong sacrificed a successful 10-plus year career at a multinational telecommunications company to make the move to the U.S. for her husband’s education. She went from a working role in a company she loved and felt valued in, to struggling to find her purpose as a stay-at-home mom who wasn’t allowed to work in her new country due to immigration restrictions.  

“The only thing I could do was volunteer and those were tough days for me because I didn’t know what character I was acting. What is my value? It feels like a loss for me. I’m in a different country with a different language and I was struggling with where I could start or where I could find my own value,” Caihong remembered. 

Caihong and her husband welcomed another baby to the family and her husband graduated from the ASU business school and has been working with his new degree for over three years as the sole financial earner. Caihong’s growing family remained one of the most important parts of her life, but she wanted to find out what she could do outside the home. What could she contribute to her new community? 

“One of the reasons (I’m looking to get back into the workforce) is that I want to be a real mother for my children. My first child will be in high school soon and sometimes he asks me, ‘Mom, what are you doing at home?’ or ‘What did you do today?’ And I want to be a role model for them in a professional way too,” Caihong said. 

“Luckily this year, I got my working visa. I am able to work in the U.S. now and I want to step out and reenter the workforce to find my own value,” she said. 

Caihong began searching the internet for “starting a career” and “entering the workforce” when a Facebook ad for Fresh Start made its way onto her timeline. After seven years as a stay-at-home mom, she couldn’t contain her excitement and immediately applied to Fresh Start’s first-ever Women in Finance cohort.  

She was accepted in Fall 2023 and joined five other women for the eight-week course at Fresh Start. Through the cohort, Caihong’s confidence in public speaking grew, she revised and upgraded her resume, and practiced interview scenarios. Within Fresh Start’s walls, she found encouragement. 

“The challenge for me has really been my English speaking. I didn’t have the confidence to fully express myself as an immigrant. The second challenge is the economic situation in our family, I don’t have the money to take classes at university, so Fresh Start has really helped me in that area by giving me this education,” she said. “If I run into a challenge, I know I can get help at Fresh Start.” 

Caihong is inspired to become a financial advisor and is excited and empowered to become a financial contributor to her family’s finances.  

“The reason we moved to America is we wanted to find a bright future for our children. We wanted them to grow up in a freedom and justice environment. My husband and I are pursuing our American dream and I want them to pursue their own American dream: what they can do to shine and what they can do contribute to the community.” 

Caihong looks forward to the day she can give back and volunteer with Fresh Start. She feels passionate about the organization’s role in empowering her to better herself. 

“My advice to other women is to never be afraid to step out. Even if you are in a struggling situation or think you are not confident, just step out and try. Sometimes, it’s easy to think it’s too complicated and can’t be reached, but don’t be scared. Also, for other immigrants like me who have a hard time at first, the hard times will pass.” 

She’s Hired!

Caihong accepted a position with Wells Fargo as a Fraud & Claims Operations Representative.