Employee Stories

Spreading Inspiration and Homeownership

As a first-generation Mexican-American, Veronica S knows better than many about overcoming challenges, including securing affordable housing. Since 2010, the UFCU financial health program specialist has pulled from her personal experience to help UFCU Members overcome financial challenges to achieve their dreams.

“My mother was an immigrant from Mexico and worked as a custodian for 30-plus years. She was a single mother on a limited income and wanted to do more for my little brother and me. We lived in a tiny one-bedroom apartment in a rough neighborhood. I remember many times being scared to walk to the school bus stop and not being allowed to play outside. I slept on the floor, and my mom and brother shared our only bed.

She tried several times to buy a house but each time was declined due to income. Finally, she was able to get on the Habitat for Humanity® waiting list, and after two years, we were approved for a home. Our house was built in seven months by an all-female team from The Austin Women’s League, and we contributed 400 hours of Habitat volunteer time toward it. Even though my brother and I were young, we did our part, putting most of our hours in at the old Habitat Resale store on Comal and 4th. I turned 13 the year we moved into our new home. Growing up in a Habitat house instilled in me a strong sense of community; it gave me a safe place to live, a place I could call home. My neighbors turned into my family; my mother had a village that helped raised us, and we had a space to just be kids.

Now as an adult, I can see and appreciate all my mother’s efforts in prioritizing us and keeping us safe. It was an incredible lesson to learn at such a young age: the lesson of survival and the lesson to keep going.

By doing her best, my mom modeled for me how to be intentional with my choices and do the best I can to continue to move forward. At UFCU, I am passionate about bringing that same level of commitment to help our Members. I am proud to work for an organization that understands that homes make communities. Together, we’re working to help make sure everyone has a place to call home.”

Veronica and all our employees share UFCU’s commitment to making sure everyone has access to secure and affordable housing. We partner with community organizations like Habitat so that more people can achieve financial stability through home ownership.

Employee Veronica S
Employee Since 2010
Title Financial Health Program Specialist