• Abby Ellis

A Veteran’s Journey from Homelessness to Banking Professional

We know that BankWork$ is life-changing, especially for the people that put in the work and show up with positivity and passion. Deaunte, who graduated in June, is one of those people, and he reminds us all of what is possible with grit and determination.



In October 2013, Deaunte found himself at rock bottom. He had just returned home from serving in the United States Military. Stress and anxiety were at an all-time high. With a lack of resources and support, Deaunte, his wife, and his children became homeless. For several years, Deaunte and his family experienced prolonged housing insecurity. Finally, in 2016, there was hope. As a veteran, Deaunte got a voucher that would provide his family with stable housing. Deaunte, his pregnant wife, and two children now had a home.


With stable housing, Deaunte began his search for a long-term career. Just three days into his search, Deaunte found the opportunity he needed. Or, in his words, “The BankWork$ program found me.” He jumped at the chance to interview for the program at Association House. Mid-interview he realized this program would truly change his life. Deaunte accepted the invitation to join the program without hesitation.


“BankWork$ took a chance on a stay-at-home dad recovering from homelessness. Now I’m looking at buying a home, the best medical, dental, vision, healthcare in the nation, as well as retirement and investing in a promising career,” Deaunte states.


It was an easy chance to take—Deaunte came into the BankWork$ program determined to meet his goals. He was a role model for his classmates. He had perfect attendance and showed up ready to learn. Deaunte's instructor, Sherri, guided him through the banking course, but, Deaunte's attitude was what made him successful.


"His passion came across. He was ready for a career in banking," says Sherri.


Aside from his new banking skills, Deaunte says the program impacted him on a personal level. Not only did he find a love for banking, he also began to rebuild his confidence. He recited part of a quote that Sherri ended every class with - "You are more than enough." Deaunte continues to carry this quote with him beyond the BankWork$ program. It reminds him that he is worthy of great things, even in the darkest of times.


Since graduating, Deaunte has taken on the position of Banker I at Associated Bank. He is truly enjoying his time at work and looks forward to exploring the potential for promotion in the future.


“I gained a meaningful career. I help people daily and there’s a huge opportunity for growth,” says Deaunte.


Association House is proud to continue serving people in the community, like Deaunte. We look forward to the future success of Bankwork$ graduates on the road to rewarding and life-changing careers.



We would like to thank Boeing for making stories like Deaunte’s possible through their financial support of the BankWork$ program. Their considerable investment is helping build a more equitable future for BankWork$ graduates and their families. Boeing proudly supports innovative partnerships and programs that create value and help build better communities worldwide. This includes improving access to globally competitive learning as well as workforce and skills development and supporting military and veteran communities. Learn more about their impact on their website.



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