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Individual Success Story


A single mother of two kids, Genevieve was unemployed without any savings, and needed help to pay her bills. With support and education from Fresh Start, she embarked on a journey of success and wealth-building.

Genevieve’s Fresh Start story begins in August of 2004. A single mother of two kids, she was unemployed without any savings, and needed money to pay her rent. She became reliant on government subsidies, maxed out all her credit cards, and owed friends and relatives’ money from loans. 

“To say that I had debts, would be a gross understatement of facts.” 

Genevieve was referred to Fresh Start by another organization and decided to make some major changes to her life. 

“I have been with Fresh Start for 18 years. Aside from my family, Fresh Start is my longest lasting relationship.” 

After learning about all the services and resources available to her, Genevieve signed up for and benefitted from practically every program Fresh Start offered—too many to list. Whenever she was at a crossroads or wanted help with the next step in her journey, she returned to Fresh Start as a touchstone. 

“It was like Fresh Start was designed specifically for me,” Genevieve reflects. 

Through taking classes, getting support from social work, receiving scholarships, and being mentored with a Fresh Start volunteer who later became one of her closest friends, Genevieve embraced the possibilities before her. Over time and with Fresh Start’s support, Genevieve conquered obstacles and achieved her full potential. 

“18 years later, I stand before you on the path to completing my dream of becoming the wealth creator and legacy builder for my family and my community. I am a commercial real-estate owner investor, I own a property management company, and I am still a Fresh Start participant.” 

Genevieve shared five things she learned at Fresh Start that made the biggest difference in her life.  

First, the value of saving. 

“No matter how small, get into the habit of saving regularly,” she shares. “No matter your financial situation, start saving from where you are today even if it’s $1 a month.”  

Second, how persistence and practice are essential to success. 

“Practice and use what you learn.  Return to Fresh start and redo the course if you need to,” Genevieve notes, “and if you’re stuck or something doesn’t make sense, ask for advice. If it’s something that Fresh Start doesn’t offer, they’ll refer you.”   

Third, the importance of every step forward—even the little ones. 

“Every day, do something that moves you forward to your goal—no matter how small,” she says. “Doers get more done.”   

Fourth, to stay open to insight from others. 

“Be resourceful. And that means to ask! Resourcefulness is asking many times until you find what you’re looking for or need.” 

Finally, Genevieve’s fifth lesson learned at Fresh Start is how vital resilience is in the journey forward. 

“No matter what, be tenacious, be resilient. You can be depressed, or tired, or whatever… but never, ever stop, give up, or quit.” 

Genevieve’s amazing story and her willingness to share what she learned has had an extraordinary ripple effect on those around her—and her journey reminds us that one woman’s empowerment is not only her own. With the support of Fresh Start, Genevieve was able to recognize her own innate strength and transform her life, and she also went on to inspire and empower many other women to follow in her footsteps.