Yazmin McNeal , Financial Literacy Educator
What do you do in your job at the WCA?
I teach financial literacy to survivors of domestic abuse. I discuss topics such as budgeting, credit, banking, and investing. I work side by side with them to achieve economic independence. I do my best to make them feel comfortable discussing money matters by understanding them and not judging them.
How long have you been with the WCA?
Overall, it has been almost 4 years. In October 2010, I was hired on as an independent contractor. In July 2012, I became a WCA part-time employee.
Where did you work prior to joining the WCA team?
I worked at a non- profit agency in San Diego, CA called Home Start, Inc. that works in preventing child abuse. I was a case manager, who did home visits and taught new mothers parenting education and provided them with many community resources.
What do you find most rewarding about your work at the WCA?
The fact that I can help so many women feel confident regarding how to handle their finances. They come into the classes feeling nervous and unsure about money, because their partner controlled the finances. By the fourth and final class, they want to put into practice all they have learned. It is so awesome to see the participants transform into women who have the “I CAN DO IT” attitude regarding money matters.
How have you changed or grown as a person through your work here?
I have become more educated regarding economic abuse. I knew before about domestic abuse, because as a child, I saw and heard verbal abuse from my father towards my mother. My mother revealed she went through a great deal of economic, physical and verbal abuse when I was an adult. I feel grateful that there are so many resources in the realm of domestic violence now and I greatly appreciate all of the people that make a huge difference with our clients here at the WCA. I only wish my mom had obtained the help she needed so many years ago, but was unable receive due to lack of domestic abuse resources and education.
With my job, I have also learned about economic abuse. Economic abuse exists and it unfortunately is in many relationships today. I have learned so much regarding financial literacy and with that knowledge, I have put into practice with my own finances. Overall, I feel more empowered as a woman teaching other women, especially survivors of domestic abuse, how to handle money matters.
Is there a memorable moment or story that you’d like to share that you have experienced at the WCA?
A memorable moment is the Smart Women Smart Money Conference, for the past 2 years. I am very happy for past clients to be recognized at this event even for a short time, because they deserve to be applauded for having survived domestic abuse and going forward with a positive attitude for themselves and their children. The women feel so empowered. Many of our clients are amazing women who deserve all the best life has to bring!