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  • Writer's pictureAbby Ellis

Starting Over

Four years ago, Renease never could have imagined her life as it is today. She was in the midst of one of the most challenging times she had ever faced. In 2019, Renease was diagnosed with cancer. Shortly afterward, she found out she was expecting a child. With no other options, Renease knew she had to prioritize her health and leave her job.

Soon enough, Renease was on the road to remission, and welcomed her baby in March of 2020. Despite the joy of becoming a mother to her second child, COVID-19 surfaced, making it hard to secure employment and provide for her growing family.

And then there was hope. One day, while scrolling through her Facebook feed, Renease came across an interesting advertisement for the BankWork$ program offered at Association House. Given her long-time interest in banking and the convenient west-side location of the program, Renease decided to take the leap of faith.

“I wanted to get into banking years ago, but I let that go because I didn't have any real cash handling experience…The program fit the schedule at the time and everything that I needed so I figured why not?” said Renease.

Renease’s journey through the program was difficult. She was still working through personal challenges and would often have moments of self-doubt. Yet, Financial Careers Facilitator, Sherri Richardson, emerged as a mentor for Renease. Sherri listened to Renease’s struggles and helped her find the strength she needed to finish the program.

“If you’re looking for a change in your life or want to feel like you belong somewhere or want to feel encouraged and not judged, come to Association House,” Renease shared.

Not only did she finish the program, she found the confidence to give a speech at the BankWork$ graduation ceremony. Afterwards, she went on to take classes through Association House’s Tech#Ready program so she could excel in her new career. Through hard work and dedication, she graduated at the top of her class.

“I don't know where I would be right now if I didn’t come across BankWork$. It jump-started me getting back on my feet, defining who I am, getting on the path back to independence and starting over. That’s what BankWork$ was for me – it was starting over,” said Renease.

Empowered with the skills and confidence instilled by her time at Association House, Renease is thriving.

Today, she serves as a Client Service Analyst at JP Morgan Chase. Though her work can be stressful, she is finding fulfillment in her career and ensuring stability for her children. Association House is proud to walk alongside participants like Renease, down the path to a brighter future.

We would like to thank Boeing for their support of the BankWork$ program, making stories like Renease’s possible. 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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