Dream Achiever alumna moves from poverty to homeownership
When Myra Segura became a Dream Achiever in 2018, her whole life changed. Little did she know that she would become a homeowner in three short years. When we learned from our community partner, BCL of Texas, that Myra was moving towards homeownership, we reached out to congratulate her and hear about the journey. Our Q&A is below.
DCTF: Our mission is to help individuals and their families move out of poverty to sustainable independence. What steps were you able to take because you were a Dream Achiever to help lead you to homeownership?
Myra: While enrolled in the nursing program, I always managed to work part-time. However, as I advanced through the semesters, I realized that I needed to dedicate more time to my studies. I was having a hard time balancing being a single mother, going to school, and working. I found myself working less and less and was getting frustrated with my financial situation. Once adopted into the DCTF family, I was partnered with mentors, received financial assistance, and received financial advising from one of their partners- BCL of Texas. Being part of DCTF allowed me to dedicate the time to my nursing program and graduate on time.
Their mentorship went further than just assuring I would graduate on time. My mentors assisted with interview coaching and were thrilled when I told them I was offered a position as a Labor and Delivery nurse, which was always my dream job. A few months after receiving my nursing license, I began to work and utilize my budgeting skills and set goals for myself. I managed to pay off debt and began to save for a home.
DCTF: Our partners play a critical role in the long-term success of our Dream Achievers. How did BCL of Texas help you reach the exciting opportunity of purchasing your first home?
Myra: While going through my nursing program and being a part of DCTF I received financial advising from BCL. They taught me how to manage income better and how to budget. The financial advisor encouraged me to print out my bank statements and break down my spending habits. From there, I was able to see where my income was going. I was able to adjust my spending habits and set saving goals.
Once I felt ready to take my next step into buying my first home, I reached out to BCL, and they encouraged me to sign up for one of their homebuyer education courses. The course walks people through different loan options, realtors, first-time homebuyers assistance programs one may qualify for, and various other things that one expects to encounter. Starting the home buying process was a daunting task, but I felt better after taking notes and asking some of the vendors who were there to support and inform instead of trying to sell something.
DTCF: Share your future plans! What do you hope to accomplish moving forward, and what does it mean to have come so far?
Myra: St. David’s North wants all of their RN’s to obtain a Bachelor’s degree. St.David’s requires new hires to sign a two-year contract. The contract also includes new hires to be enrolled in an RN-to-BSN program within one year of employment and get a BSN within three years of enrollment. I’m currently enrolled in an online RN-to-BSN through Galen College of Nursing and hoping to obtain my BSN next year. This year I became a preceptor for new hires in my unit who are beginning their orientation journey in Labor and Delivery. I have been enjoying learning, and I hope to continue to grow my knowledge in the field of labor and delivery and transition into leadership roles in the future years.
It means a lot for me to have come this far. I’m proud of myself and happy that I can finally start a foundation for my daughter and myself to grow from. I was always motivated to do so and knew it would be hard for a single mother to break the cycle of poverty on their own, luckily I found support along the way.
DCTF: What advice do you have for our current Dream Achievers as they pursue their dream and begin a life of sustainable independence for themselves and their families?
Myra: I remember driving to school, work, or back home in silence sometimes and reflecting on feeling stressed. If I could go back and give myself advice or what I tell people currently in school and having a hard time, I would tell them not to give up, to take it day by day–it will get better. It will be worth all of the sacrifices you are making right now.
If they are new graduates in their field and beginning to work, I would encourage them to be smart with money. We are used to living and making ends meet with small amounts compared to what you will be making now. Learn to budget and save the “extra” income and invest it in something you always hoped to obtain while on your journey here.
Myra’s additional comments:
“When I spoke at one of the DCTF gala events, I got emotional because as a first-generation college student and first-generation anything, I didn’t know what I was doing. I had always hoped for someone to help me find the tools I needed to climb this huge mountain I made up myself to believe was a success. Some people are born with that privilege–whose parents can help navigate college admission, make big purchases on cars and homes, and how to start working your credit. I did not have that privilege, but that did not stop me. I asked for help. I looked for people who cared.
It brings me to tears to know programs like DCTF exist and that people who genuinely care about others are out there. These individuals want to help others make a change in THEIR lives that will not only make it better for them but can break the cycle of poverty for the next generation. We are then able to give our children a chance to be born with some privilege in guidance. DCTF is changing lives and empowering future generations of people who would otherwise remain in the cycle of poverty.”
More about The Dream Come True Foundation’s partnership with BCL of Texas
We are so grateful for BCL of Texas and their continued support of our Dream Achievers’ goal of reaching sustainable independence through financial literacy and planning.
Pamela Guerra Garcia, Home Ownership Specialist with BCL, shared, “BCL of Texas has worked since 1990 to build strong communities by empowering Texans to achieve their financial goals through coaching, training, classes, and lending programs. Through our HomeOwnership programs, we work with people who want to buy their first homes by creating a step-by-step action plan and guiding them through the process of setting a budget, saving for a down payment, qualifying for a mortgage loan, and working with a realtor so that they have all the information they need to make the best financial decisions for their future.”
Pam continues, “BCL supports the Dream Come True Foundation’s mission to disrupt the cycle of intergenerational poverty and lift children and adults out of poverty and into a better financial situation. We recognize the toll of intergenerational poverty and work to close the racial wealth gap so that families can achieve intergenerational stability and build wealth. We are happy to support Dream Come True Foundation throughout the years by working on shared events, participating in scholarship programs, and with BCL staff serving on their Board of Directors.”