Meet Reina from LIFT-New York

“My name is Reina. I am a married mother of four – three boys and one girl. When I first came to LIFT, my financial situation and my self-esteem weren’t doing well, and I felt frustrated about being unable to support my family. I had goals, but I didn’t know where to start or how to organize my thoughts.

From the first time I opened the doors at LIFT, I felt welcomed, and as soon as I met my coach, I felt excited. The staff at LIFT treat you like family. They emphasize the importance of communication, which helped me organize my ideas and goals. They help you find resources and work together with parents – like a team with the same goals in mind. What I love the most about LIFT is the motivation, the follow-up, and the way they celebrate your goals – no matter how small.

My coach helped me make business cards for my cleaning business, so it looks more professional. From that, I was able to find domestic and industrial work. I’ve profited from my new business, and I’m reinvesting that money into better cleaning supplies to provide an even better service to my clients. I’m very happy right now because I’m able to financially support my family, especially since my husband has had less work. I was able to put my daughter in swimming lessons too, which was one of my LIFT goals!

Currently, my coach is connecting me with social media training to attract more clients to my business. I’m also learning how to register my business with the state. She is helping me become an entrepreneur.”

From Reina’s Coach, Monica:

Reina is modest, but she is a woman of much talent and grit. She has completed parenting courses to improve communication in her household, created an expense budget, increased her monthly savings, and opened savings accounts for her children. She has also completed advanced English courses.

Currently, she does independent contracting work through her eco-friendly cleaning business, for which she creates her own environmentally-safe and delicious-smelling formulas. She is also networking with other LIFT-New York entrepreneurs through a Sama School freelance training course and making plans to grow her business. Reina has not only achieved economic stability for her family but is also abriendo paso (opening doors) for other women.

Shortly after our initial interview with Reina, she reached out to us with an update:

“I would like to share some updates with you all on things that have been coming into my life. My small business is thriving – I am so happy! I have regular clients now and some of them even pay me through direct deposit and checks. I’ve never experienced this before but it’s teaching me how to manage my account like a true business entrepreneur. But there’s more!

Recently, a Mexican Coalition Organization called me, and the director proposed an additional work opportunity for me. I thought about it a lot, and finally accepted it and began part-time administrative work with them, so that I can also continue my cleaning business.

Last week, they sent us to the Consulate of Colombia to administer COVID testing. We took all the necessary safety measures, and this week they’re training us to help distribute COVID vaccines to the community. Since I‘m interacting with many parents at the consulate, I’m using this opportunity to connect them with schools, daycares, and other resources that I learned about through LIFT.

I am infinitely grateful to you all. You’ve empowered me and made me more confident in my abilities as a mother, wife, and businesswoman.”