“As an immigrant from Venezuela, I always thought getting a good job would be hard to achieve, but deep down there was something telling me that anything could happen — if you fight for it. I came to America with a strong purpose of becoming someone, to be productive to God, my family and to this country, which kindly opened its arms to me, giving me a new beginning. It was hard at first, but I never gave up.
“One day, one of my friends told me about MEDA, an organization which could provide an opportunity for me to become the person I wanted to be since Day One. My friend explained a little bit about the organization and how this nonprofit could help me. So, I visited MEDA and I spoke to Job Coach Olivia Quiñonez (photo, left). Olivia was amazing, explaining all of the benefits that I would be able to obtain if I enrolled to the free Bank Teller program she runs. Everything sounded good, although there was a little problem called availability, or time — I didn’t have any. It was difficult for me, but I decided to drive for Lyft. I knew that as I driver I would have more flexibility of my time to attend the Bank Teller program. I needed to fulfill my dream. And I did it. I made it.
“Olivia helped me to understand a universe of possibilities that an immigrant can have. She showed me that there is no limit but our minds. The program was amazing, as she taught me the basics of banking, along with how to go on an interview, plus many other important things about the bank industry. Olivia encouraged me to believe in myself and set my goals high. She referred the class to a job fair at Bank of America. During the interview process, I felt confident in my abilities and applied for a bank teller position, but following my instincts — and because of the confidence that I gained during the Bank Teller program with Olivia — I knew that I could do more. So, I looked for a higher position. The result? I am now a relationship manager at Bank of America, making a starting salary of $25 an hour, with amazing benefits.
“I have started to make my dreams come true, thanks to MEDA.”