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Individual Success Story


“Even if all you have is some willingness and belief that you can do it, that’s enough because everyone at Fresh Start will help you and show you.”

She’s Hired!

Nicolette* felt lost in a sea of applicants, her resumes floating to hiring managers and potential employers unnoticed. To get by, she worked in temporary staffing but felt like she was dedicating a lot of time to the work each week only to be disappointed by the amount on her paycheck. She knew it was time to get a handle on her finances. All the money she made immediately went out of her pocket and towards unpaid bills. 

“I just looked at my checks and thought, ‘All this work, this is not even that much money for the work I did, and not only that, none of this money is mine, it has to go immediately to other things.’ And I was like ‘I don’t want to do that anymore.’” 

Nicolette’s mom told her about a friend who changed careers with the help of Fresh Start. The friend went from massage therapy into Fresh Start’s Cable Harness Wiring training in partnership with Mesa Community College and was hired immediately by Boeing. Nicolette was even more excited when she saw that Fresh Start offered a Women in Finance course. 

“Before Fresh Start, I started to get really discouraged about what was going on. That was my thought, ‘I need to try something, anything,’ and I was really glad to be accepted (into the cohort) and that I had the support from my mom and dad,” she said.  

Her last job didn’t offer a lot of stability. The times changed frequently, and everything felt chaotic. During the cohort, she enjoyed the set schedule and being among women like herself who wanted to better themselves. 

“I loved that I had a place to come to school every day. It got me into that new habit of getting ready, looking nice, preparing myself to work in a professional environment again, and being among people in a professional world. It felt really good to have that kind of stability again,” she said. 

Nicolette was surprised not only by how much she learned about finances, but also how much inner self- work and personal development occurred in the eight weeks.  

“I already knew that I didn’t think highly of some of my skills. The cohort made me reformat everything, repackage myself, and learn how to rebrand myself,” she said.  

Nicolette found a lot of motivation from the other women in her class. She would hear their stories and note how they found courage to rise up. She knew that she could do the same in her own life.  

“I’m inspired by so many of these other women. They have the same struggles and adversity in their lives and in the workplace. It was eye-opening and wonderful to get to know those women and their perspectives. It’s encouraging and I hope that it all works out for all of us,” she said. 

Nicolette also worked on her personal finances during her journey at Fresh Start, connecting with a Finance Program Specialist to sort out a debt plan, taxes, and managing her student loans. 

“Some things that were figured out, I just never would’ve wanted to deal with,” Nicolette acknowledged. “It started a new momentum; I was in the mindset of finances.” 

In all the enjoyment and transformation of the cohort, Nicolette still ran into challenges. She didn’t have a reliable computer at home, so she ended up working on her resumes and other course work on her phone or waiting until she arrived at Fresh Start to work on the computers. She also had a busy work schedule during the eight-week course with shifts at two major local events, Barrett Jackson and the Waste Management Phoenix Open. 

“It was a lot, but it just proves that when I think I won’t be able to do it, I do it. I’m totally capable of doing and handling all these things. I’ll be tired, but those hard things, I can do.” 

After the course completed, Nicolette was so proud of herself for getting through the interviews with employers. She felt focused and knew her natural skills were applicable to the roles.  

“I always measured success on how you looked on paper, because that’s what society taught me. But success should be how you respond to the adversities you face along the way.. If you can just get through the day, sometimes that’s a success,” Nicolette said. 

Nicolette couldn’t wait to get started on her new career path, but she knew she’d need Fresh Start’s help to get in the doors of the financial institutes to set herself apart from other applicants. As she looked to find her first job after the Women in Finance cohort, Nicolette felt proud to be qualified and prepared to apply for the positions.  

“It’s just getting there. That’s the hard part, getting through those doors,” she said. “Once you go through all of that, that’s the biggest pay out of all, knowing that with everyone’s help, with everyone working together, we can, …I can get there.” 

The dream for Nicolette doesn’t stop at securing her first job. She wants to grow her savings, get her own place, start making financial investments, and give back to her community. She knows that with a steady and reliable income, she can finally pay off debts and start helping others who have helped and supported her throughout her journey. 

“Oh my gosh, if I have a steady income and everything is structured and in balance again, I’m going to do all the ‘adulting’ things I’ve been wanting to do like pay off my car and have that financial literacy so I can be sustainable by myself,” she stated.  

Nicolette hopes that other women who hear her story know that, they too, can do hard things.  

“You can never underestimate how much you can do because you can do so many things. Even if all you have is some willingness and belief that you can do it, that’s enough because everyone at Fresh Start will help you and show you. So many times, I thought ‘I can’t do that,’ or that ‘sounds too hard,’ but you can actually do the hard things and can get through them. It’s just making the decision to do something about it. And the hard work and the hard things you get through have benefits and they do pay off.” 

She’s Hired! 

Nicolette was hired at TrueWest as Member Service Representative. She received on-the-joband is working with new memberships andperwork for loans and credit cards. We’re thrilled to report she absolutely LOVES her new career in financial services. She is receiving benefits: 401K, and PTO, and has shared that TrueWest is all about supporting her in achieving her career goals.  After just 6 months in her new position, TrueWest, will re-evaluate her salary for a possible increase!  Congratulations, Nicollete! And thank you for leading the way and sharing your story.  You are already inspiring other women to believe in themselves and to take the steps forward to create the life they strive for.