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Single Mother of Four Surprised with Car at Graduation

Nine-month C.A.S.H. Coach Program Helps Build Financial Stability

Rochester, NY – A single mom got a special surprise at the end of a graduation ceremony – a car big enough so none of her four children would need to sit in front. After working for nine months towards her financial goals, Candi Williams joined 49 others (50 total) who graduated from the C.A.S.H. Coach Program at a ceremony held at ARTISAN Works in Rochester, NY, tonight.

Working with her coach – ESL employee Kim Miranda – Candi and other participants learned how to better manage their money, set a budget, and save towards goals. One of Candi’s primary financial goals was to save so she could buy a car that is big enough to transport her whole family, as well as get her to her job at a local call center.

Candi Williams (L), C.A.S.H. Coach Graduate, with her car
and her coach Kim Miranda (R), ESL Employee Volunteer

The car, a 2011 Chevy Traverse with third-row seating, was provided by the Molye Chevrolet dealership in Honeoye Falls, NY. The vehicle fits her budget and she qualifies for regular financing.

Since 2002, C.A.S.H.—Creating Assets, Savings, & Hope—has helped tens of thousands of families in Monroe County build financial stability. The program demonstrates the power of setting goals, taking small but consistent steps forward, and most importantly, what a difference it makes to have someone on your side as a coach.

“I was really nervous before I met Candi. Even though I had worked in financial services for years and helped lots of customers with their financial needs, I wasn’t sure I’d really be able to make a difference for Candi,” says Kim, an indirect underwriter in ESL’s Consumer Lending Department and a 17-year ESL veteran. “But we formed a bond almost immediately and realized we had so much in common.”

Both women have four children, and balancing the challenges of work and family is something they share. Before the C.A.S.H. Coach Program, Candi struggled to make ends meet between paychecks and couldn’t imagine having extra money to set aside for a car.

“The program helped me organize my budget, look at where I was spending my money, and how I could cut back in certain areas in order to fund my savings goal,” said Candi. “For example, I never realized how much I was spending on eating out and even at the vending machine at work. Now I spend that money on what is my main priority—making a better life for my family.”

Kim has been so impressed with her partner’s positive attitude, hard work, and intelligence. She now realizes that all Candi really needed was the information and financial tools that the program provides, along with a healthy dose of encouragement and enthusiasm.

“Candi can do whatever she sets her mind to,” said Kim. “My job as a C.A.S.H. coach is just to remind her of all she has accomplished, keep her focused on her priorities, and cheer her on every step of the way.”

Even though Candi has now graduated from the C.A.S.H. Coach Program, both women agree they will be lifelong friends. They already keep in touch outside of the program and thank C.A.S.H. and ESL for bringing them together.

Currently 19 ESL employees are C.A.S.H. Coach Program volunteers. The program meets monthly for nine months at ESL Headquarters as well as other locations.