Why are you passionate about financial literacy?
I see the need for financial literacy in our community, which includes a large population of low- to moderate-income families. Financial literacy has the potential to provide stability for families, to give them a place to call home, and to leave a legacy for their children and future generations. It’s our job to demystify banking and provide the knowledge families need to make sound financial decisions.
What has been your most rewarding experience?
I once worked with a man who was 58 years old and who had never been able to buy his own home. He had tried in his 30s and 40s, but was denied because of his credit. He said this would be his last attempt. I worked with him on improving his credit, and he followed every piece of my advice. A year later, he had a credit score of 650 and closed on a home on his 59th birthday.
I also had the pleasure of working with a young woman who wanted to be the first person in six generations of her family to own their own home and needed guidance on the process. On the day of closing, her family, who had joined us by conference call, celebrated and cried tears of joy as she was handed the keys to her house. It was such an incredible moment to be part of.
What would you say to encourage other BBVA USA team members to get involved in the financial education program?
You get to make a lasting impact in people’s lives. Yes, you might feel anxious about leading a session, but you can start small. Watch someone lead a session, help out as a volunteer, get familiar with the materials, and eventually you’ll be ready to lead. And to calm your nerves, remember that it’s not about you—then you can walk in with confidence.