College can be a stressful time. Between the pressures of juggling school and life, money is often an obstacle to success that many students face. Mario knows the stress of this, firsthand. When he was attending Canada College, education expenses hit him directly in the form of books – they were expensive! But, while rummaging around the campus bookstore, one day, a flyer got his attention. It promised financial support for education.
Mario was skeptical, but he made the call to 211 and was able to connect with SparkPoint services. That phone call ended up being a key moment of clarity: taking advantage of the services available, allowed him to start developing healthy habits and ultimately gave him a greater understanding of how to manage financial expenses head-on.
“Honestly, this was the best decision I made because now I am more confident and aware of my financial behavior.”
Having a good handle on finances proved to be an invaluable asset when the pandemic hit and Mario lost his job as a restaurant server. Thanks to the financial training he received, budgeting wisely, improving credit, cutting unnecessary expenses, and having access to resources like the food pantry – he had the space to build a savings that allowed him enough cushion to stay afloat during the tough time.
Financial stability programs like SparkPoint help prepare clients like Mario for a lifetime of smart financial decisions, helping him to build wealth over the long term. Simply dialing 2-1-1, was all it took to get him started on a path toward achievement and get him prepared for a time few would’ve imagined.
Today, Mario is fulfilling a life goal by working with LifeMoves helping those in need while at the same time sitting on the board for EFSP (Emergency Food and Shelter Program) & the UWBA Ambassadors Council.
“[UWBA] helped me successfully complete my college education and earn an associate’s [degree] in Business Administration and Economics at Cañada College – debt free!”