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From Volunteer to Client to Staff

August 12, 2019

Carmen learned the value of SparkPoint financial coaching firsthand; now she’s helping others to do the same.

Carmen was dropping off her son at preschool when she first spotted United Way’s SparkPoint across the street. She went to check it out and was so intrigued with their free one-on-one financial and career coaching and education for struggling families and individuals, she decided to volunteer with the organization.

The more Carmen learned at SparkPoint, the more she realized that although her family was not in crisis or living in extreme poverty like many of United Way’s clients, they were not prepared for the future.

Carmen began attending classes and visiting with a financial coach. “Without SparkPoint, I didn’t realize how important it was to start planning now for your future,” Carmen says. With help from her financial coach, Carmen learned to better manage her budget, began saving for retirement, and started college funds for her children. She also began setting aside money for a down payment to buy a home for her family one day.

After years as a volunteer and client of SparkPoint, Carmen joined the organization as staff: “I just feel like it’s home, it doesn’t feel like a job… I just love this place!”

Check out Carmen’s full story below and learn why she encourages all her friends and peers to get help from SparkPoint now.


Stories like Carmen’s are exactly what makes SparkPoint such a popular and successful program. Last year, SparkPoint helped 5,504 struggling individuals and families throughout the Bay Area to build brighter futures for themselves and their families.