Tamiko’s story is like many Bay Area residents’ during this slow economic recovery. The single mom from Richmond lost her job three years ago. Like so many others struggling with unemployment during the recession, Tamiko fell deeper and deeper into debt.
Fortunately, with the help of United Way’s SparkPoint program, she recently landed a job doing email marketing for Sephora, the international cosmetics store. She’s making considerably more than her previous position and can kiss unemployment goodbye.
Tamiko first turned to SparkPoint West Contra Costa after hearing about it from a friend. She enrolled in career courses and learned everything from writing an effective resume and negotiating salaries to enhancing her professional image. Through one-on-one financial coaching, Tamiko created a household budget and has started to rebuild her credit. She also took advantage of SparkPoint’s free tax preparation services.
Tamiko’s hard work paid off. Despite the economic downturn, she got the job at Sephora – no small feat as unemployment in California remains high at 12%.
“My SparkPoint coaches helped me through one of the toughest times in my life. They were my light at the end of the tunnel, constantly reminding me not to lose hope,” said Tamiko. “They energized me and helped me stay focused in my job search. And with my credit, they helped me focus on small goals, instead of getting overwhelmed by my financial situation.”
Tamiko is well on her way to building a more secure financial future for herself and her daughter. SparkPoint has given her the skills and confidence to continue down the path to financial stability.
SparkPoint Coach Nicole Harden said, “Tamiko is the ultimate Spark Point client. Her go-getter attitude definitely paid off. She reached out for help with her employment search, and we were able to provide that. We enhanced her resume and cover letter and discussed networking opportunities. SparkPoint also provided Tamiko with a quiet space to work on her job search.”
Nicole is an employee of Rubicon Programs, one of several partner organizations that collaborate to serve clients at SparkPoint West Contra Costa.
Learn more about SparkPoint at www.SparkPointCenters.org.