Empowering a new generation of Americans
Fiordaliza Fernandez-Urena came to HUF, sometimes on foot, after walking for more than an hour with the youngest of her two children. She was a single mother with a small toddler, a preschool-age child, living with her sister and cleaning homes to survive. She relied on the bus or others for transportation and without childcare there was little she could do to jump start her career. She had dreams, but they were on hold.
On the first day she came to HUF, we were able to find a slot for her young daughter at the Unity 4Kids program. And she found a supportive “life coach” in the person of Yonela Carusi the director of the Unity 4Kids preschool.
She was encouraged to participate in the Center for Working Families Program (CWF) program which she did in January of 2013. The focus for her and her HUF coaches was to help her find childcare for her youngest son and a solution to Fiordaliza’s transportation challenges, as well as a living-wage job.
Through her participation in the CWF Program, she was able to obtain free Head Start childcare for her two children through Family Central. After intensive one-on-one coaching and guidance from her Financial Coach, Fiordaliza was able to purchase a vehicle on her own with the money she saved. Her savings grew after she had her taxes prepared, for free, through Hispanic Unity’s VITA FREE tax preparation program. She received assistance with resume writing and interviewing skills and learned how to apply for jobs on her own.
Her life has changed completely. After having secured a safe environment for both of her children, she focused on her job search. Two weeks after purchasing a car Fiordaliza found a job as a data clerk coordinator at a local automotive group.
She is now registered at Broward College and will start the Dental Assistant Program in September to further her education and become more marketable.
This single mom is on the road to self-sufficiency with the help of intense, wrap-around services and lots of loving coaching and support from her knowledgeable and committed HUF Coaches.
“No words can express what I feel when I realize that little by little, I am meeting all my goals and putting everything in its place…the kids in school… having been able to purchase a car... now (finding a) job… then in September I will start the Dental Assistance program at Broward College. Ms. Yonela, you are my Guardian Angel. Thank you!