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Mariluz has worked her entire life. Before she moved to the United States at age 19, she worked in the Dominican Republic with her grandmother. But despite this lifetime of hard work, Mariluz had never felt stable.

A year and a half ago, Mariluz changed all that. She found a Compass postcard in the mail—and better yet, had a friend already involved in the Compass FSS program in Lynn. Her friend had no doubt that Mariluz could succeed in FSS, and Mariluz had some big goals. Not only did she want to grow her own small business, but she wanted to prove to her children that her dream of homeownership was possible. With that in mind, she attended Compass’s financial workshops and had her first meeting with a Compass coach. This set something in motion.

She had always been organized and a planner, and now Mariluz had a financial coach to guide her plans and inspire the confidence she needed. She took control of her finances and saw a clear path to her goals. Reflecting on her progress, Mariluz told her coach that “It’s hard to believe how with a few changes and fixing my finances, everything has changed.”

Even though she loves her work, she had been worried about moving forward with her own small cleaning business. But now she feels ready to take it on. She used to work less because she was afraid of losing various public benefits, but now she pays for her own health insurance and covers a high portion of her rent share.

When she tells her daughter they can’t buy something because they are saving for a home, her daughter asks when the house is coming. Mariluz knows it’s sooner than ever.  Even at work, her boss says, “I’ve known you for ten years, and I always knew you could do it.”

Now others have heard about Compass programs thanks to Mariluz. She tells her friends, “At least come to a workshop. This program really changes things.” Her friends see the changes in her confidence—but more importantly, Mariluz sees them too. Thinking of her own family, Mariluz told her Compass coach, “You’re not just changing one life; you’re changing five.”


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