Marie Jean Louis was looking for a fresh start when she moved to Jacksonville, Florida in 2019.
Hailing from the Big Apple of New York City and working in the mental health field, Marie decided to move to Florida where she had connections with family. A career pivot had been on her mind, and her Steps 2 Success journey began when she attended an event at the Financial Opportunity Center (FOC) on Kings Road in northside Jacksonville.
Steps 2 Success offers a holistic approach to financial well-being. The center provides career coaching, financial coaching, and access to income supports such as food stamps, utility assistance and affordable health insurance.
That’s where Marie met Stewart Miller, the Sr. Career Development Manager for Steps 2 Success. Marie said adjusting to a new city, and starting a new job began to cause her her an unhealthy amount of stress. She said Stewart was a huge support and started guiding her on a path to a more satisfying career.
But that took a screeching halt, when a brain aneurysm put Marie in the ICU in September 2020. For six days, Marie fought for her life. Stewart stayed connected with her the whole time to check in on her health status.
Fortunately, Marie survived the aneurysm, and fully recovered with no symptoms.
Despite the stress and trauma of the major life event, Marie still kept up with her career coaching; her rapport with Stewart encouraged her to settle into a more compatible career field.
“He has a heart. He really cares and he’ll celebrate with you,” Marie said.
Through the guidance of Steps 2 Success, Marie learned that she enjoyed working with the elderly, and pursued a career as a certified nursing assistant. She successfully earned her CNA license on May 31st, 2022, and is now working at a nursing home.
Her next goal is becoming a homeowner, which she’ll continue through S2S financial coaching. Marie’s story reminds us that with guidance and support, a better life is always possible.