Early Fall 2021
September 09, 2021
What is your current role?
I’m a financial and online business coach, social entrepreneur, and immigration attorney. In my role at Immigrant Finance, I help immigrants and their family members move from surviving to thriving and build generational wealth.
What career experiences led you to your current role?
As an immigration lawyer who has worked with hundreds of immigrants, I know how much of a difference having a strong personal finance foundation can make in someone's life and immigration case.
I also know this personally. When my husband Mauricio immigrated to the United States from Ecuador in 2013, we struggled through the whole process of trying to figure out our finances. We didn’t know if my husband was allowed to do basic things like have a bank account or credit card or if he would be able to invest, take out a mortgage, save for retirement, and build a future here in the United States. We felt very alone and anxious in the process and wasted years trying to figure it all out on our own. There was nothing on the internet or in personal finance books about personal finances for immigrants.
Additionally, as the great-granddaughter of Jewish refugees who fled to this country with nothing, I also personally know how money mindset challenges that can be exacerbated by the immigrant experience—such as the fear of not having enough—can get passed down for generations if they are not addressed head-on. For my family, developing financial stability and building wealth for future generations has been critical, and I believe all immigrants should have the same opportunities to build wealth and live the lives they deserve.
What do you do on a daily basis?
I create educational content on financial empowerment for the immigrant community, coach clients on managing money, investing, and starting businesses, and, through my work as an immigration lawyer, bring impact litigation to improve the law for broad groups of immigrants.
What do you like most about your job?
There is nothing better than seeing someone in our community become more financially empowered. Whether it's starting their first budget, opening their first investment account, or getting their first paying client in their new business, it fills me with hope and inspiration, because I know the rest of their lives will transform. I also love hearing about when our clients apply what they've learned—for example, to help their parents, siblings, and other family members open their first investment accounts.
What advice would you give to a student considering a similar career?
Do what is exciting and scary and follow the signs to figure out what your soul purpose is and who you are meant to help.
If you had a personal finance course in high school or college, what was your biggest takeaway? If you didn't have a class, what do you wish you learned about personal finance in school?
I took a personal finance course in college and was blown away when I learned how investing just a small amount of money consistently over several decades could make you a millionaire.