When Kendra moved to the United States from her home country of El Salvador she came with big dreams and hopes for a better financial future. As a member of the LGBTQ+ community, she not only looked forward to the freedom to live and love on her own terms, but the opportunity to create wealth doing something that she loves. She was eager to transform her skill and talents as a hair stylist into a wealth building tool. With her new life in the U.S. she envisioned herself purchasing a new home, obtaining reliable form of transpiration, and growing a healthy savings. However, one thing stood in her way. As a newcomer to the United States, she was unfamiliar with how the American financial system operates and how she could positively participate in it.

Kendra met her financial wellbeing coach, Laura, through Casa de Paz, an organization dedicated to helping immigrants transition to their new home in the United States. When the pair met, they instantly hit it off. During their coaching sessions, Laura taught Kendra about the American banking system, the principles of the credit, and what it takes to build a strong credit profile to make big purchases. Laura not only proved to be a great teacher, but also a great help and asset in helping Kendra get started on her financial journey. With Kendra’s limited understanding of the English language, she needed a translator to help her open her bank account. Laura graciously stepped up and helped schedule the appointment and translated for both Kendre and the banker.

Once Kendra opened her bank account, Laura explained how banks work in greater detail and taught her how to save, how to prevent overdraft in the account, and other money management basics. Since opening her account, Kendra has been able to save over $2,000 and is looking forward to opening up a revolving line of credit to help build her credit profile. She has prioritized her homeownership goals and has set a timeframe of 3-5 years to reach it.

Kendra is excited about her new financial journey and is deeply appreciative to Laura and Operation HOPE for helping her develop the knowledge and skills necessary to succeed.