BrendaFrom the beginning, Brenda never really liked school. She went because it was a requirement in her house. Her parents, both immigrants from Guatemala, instilled in her from a young age the importance of education and the great opportunities available to Brenda and her siblings in the U.S.

“Most of the problem was that I rarely showed up,” Brenda says. “When I did come to school I didn’t participate in my classes.”

When Brenda was growing up in southwest Denver, there were a lot of people in her life who discouraged her from school and told her she would never amount to anything.

“And at the beginning of my senior year in high school, it seemed like they might be right,” Brenda says, “But one day, a light bulb went on and I decided that I was going to prove those people wrong.”

Brenda was far behind in credits at the beginning of her senior year, but self-motivated and absolutely determined, Brenda graduated from North High School with all A’s and B’s in 2011.

“It felt good to make my family proud, but after I graduated I had no intentions of furthering my education. I felt that with a high school diploma I could get far enough in life,” she says.

But eight months went by and as the thrill of being the first in her family to graduate from high school slowly faded, Brenda started to feel as though she was stagnating. She had the same temporary job and couldn’t identify any career goals, much less a plan to achieve them.

Brenda’s mother heard about Mi Casa’s Bilingual Bank Teller program and rushed home to tell her daughter. “First thing that came to my mind? Great, more school,” Brenda says. But she decided to call and find out more.

At Mi Casa, Brenda learned all about the banking industry, teller transactions, cash handling and more. She also brushed up on professional skills like communication, workplace relationships, resume and cover letter writing, networking and interviewing.

“Mi Casa helped me realize all the opportunities that were out there for me and with hard work I can achieve my goals.”

Brenda is currently earning her Associates Degree in Business Administration and working in the student café to gain cash handling experience. She hopes to one day earn a Master’s Degree in Business Administration and become a store manager for Wells Fargo Bank.