What are your responsibilities with your program?
In addition to providing employment search support to individuals in the community with their resume, application process, interview skills, and professional development, I also oversee our Getting Ahead program and our financial management program. In overseeing the GA program I work with the County to build on the programming that empowers individuals to understand why they are in poverty and how to forward out of poverty. One of the building programs is our new Bridges Financial Management Class that focuses on more than just spending and financial management control. It is a 10 week course building financial resources and social capitol through community speakers, bankers and financial advisors to help the participants achieve their financial goals of home ownership, education, debt management or even owning their own business.

What has been the most inspiring thing you have seen or learned in your work?
Truly, the team that I work with is an inspiration in itself to be a part of. They all work with great passion, respect and compassion to help individuals in the community stabilize and work towards self-sufficiency. Some of the most inspiring individual stories I have had the privilege to be a part of have come from our Getting Ahead and Single Mom Scholar participants. It is so fulfilling to watch someone who has endured either a lot of trauma or tough consequences from their decisions come full circle and thrive. I would have to say the biggest lesson that I have learned is that there is power in nonprofit organizations in Tucson working together to wrap around services to clients when their needs exceed what one group can do. We all win when we work together, especially the client.

What is your favorite thing about living in Southern Arizona?
I was actually born in Tucson, so my favorite thing about living in the beautiful desert landscape isn’t any one landmark, and we have many, but rather the people. I have been fortunate to have built incredible friendships over the years and remain close to my family. I have lived and travelled to many places in the US over the years due to my work, but Tucson will always be the place I call home.

Anything else to add?
I am super excited to have launched and pilot our new Bridges Financial Management class in partnership with Pima County. It is a wonderful cooperative of several nonprofit organizations and businesses in Tucson coming together to cover topics about spending, saving, credit reports, VITA, home ownership, financial predators and the importance of establishing banking relationships to achieve financial goals. Rather than one expert, we provide the cohort with several experts through multiple speakers and mentors supporting the participants on their financial journey of discovery and empowerment.