“Qualitas has had an major impact in our lives. I came to this country to find a better way of life. And in Qualitas I found the guidance I was looking for in order to plan ahead, know how to distinguish between a need and a desire, and prioritize. After some time I opened a bank account and started saving and investing. I am currently going through the process of becoming legal, and I’m studying to become a massage therapist and acupuncturist in Traditional Chinese Medicine.”
“The most important part of the program is the knowledge that I acquired and the self–confidence that such knowledge brings: now I know that in a not-so- distant-future I’ll be able to send my son to college, with the certainty that I have the money to do so.”
“Qualitas was a great propeller for me. I’ve always tried to be organized with my money, yet I haven’t been too successful. It was very useful to learn to distinguish the things I need from the ones I want. This way I can tell my girls that if they are organized they can do whatever they want in their lives.”
For me the most important part of the program was not just the information I received. The way in which the people from Qualitas make you feel at home.
“I want to grow my business and, with my husband’s support, help my girls get ahead in life. Also, I want to help Qualitas grow and refer my friends… because it really helped me.”
“I’m a contractor, I had my own business with 30 people working for me, but with the crisis, there is so little work that I had to close my business. Now I really need to learn about finances, I need to learn how to save money and how to make a good investment.”
“I would like to learn as much as I can in this workshop and then transmit the knowledge to my wife and kids.”
“What I appreciated the most about the workshops was to find people who are dedicated to helping fellow Hispanics receive financial education. Through the workshops I have also learned that to achieve what one wants in life, one must have character, determination, and the will to foresee and plan for one’s future. With what I have learned at Qualitas, this is exactly what I will now do to ensure the best possible future for myself and my family.”
Luis y Mariela Carbajal
About attending the workshops as a couple they commented: “It has definitely helped us to attend as a couple because we are receiving the same information that helps us balance our household finances, follow a budget and take decisions on our expenses and income together.”
Luis and Mariela are looking forward to complete all three levels of the Qualitas workshops and Luis mentioned that “the classes are very clear and the subjects covered are exactly what we need and what we are interested in learning to move forward financially as a family.”
Mariela added: “The workshops have given me the opportunity to address all my financial doubts and concerns in addition to have given me the necessary tools and information that has helped us manage our bank accounts much more effectively.”
“When I first heard of Qualitas and what they were doing in New York I thought it was a great idea and a win-win situation for everyone involved. I never realized how important this work is, and how much financial education can actually help people improve their lives, until I attended the workshops and the participants shared their experiences with me.
I have been a volunteer for Qualitas for a month, and I believe deeply in this project. Every workshop I go to just makes me realize more and more how much immigrants are willing to work and fight for a better life. They are eager to ask questions and always ready to learn. Oddly enough, I am the one who has learned the most out of this experience. I’m really happy to be part of the Qualitas team and hope to stay on for good.”
She shares her Qualitas experience with us: “When I first arrived to New York I was working hard and was very careful about saving money. I managed to save quite a bit of money but, for some reason, in the past I have been spending all the time, buying things I felt I needed and have made a significant dent in my savings. This has left me feeling sad and defeated. It has also brought me a lot of problems with my husband as we would very often argue about our finances and he would complain about how much I had been spending. I realized that I was creating a vicious cycle: over-spending, feeling bad about it and defeated, and going out to spend again. I felt hopeless.”
“When I found out about the Qualitas financial education course offered at my community center, I knew I had to take it. It has helped me tremendously. It has only been six classes, but I have regained my hope and have made important changes in my financial habits. For example, I now plan my weekly expenses and identify what truly are my family’s needs. Then I take pride in finding the best I can get for my money and have managed to have a surplus by the end of the week. My husband sees me doing my homework and is very proud of me. I can feel how he is less concerned about my spending and I am regaining his trust. The money I have left over from the week I put straight into my savings account. My financial goal is to reach the savings amount I had a few years ago, and go beyond. What I like most about Qualitas is that I have learned to say: Yes I can!”
Now I would like to share my dream with you all. As a participant in the Qualitas and My Finances class, I got the idea to start my own business, which is now called WOW Kids Party Planning Events. It’s a business dedicated to children’s entertainment using inflatable toys and costumes. We have developed our business plan and soon we will have legal counseling to get our business going. All of these steps have been a product of a lot of work, entertainment research, and of course the advice and help of Qualitas, where my idea got started. The people at Qualitas have given me so much great support and they have believed in me.
I would like to emphasize that to do this project I have to put everything I learned in the workshops I have taken at Qualitas into practice: creating a budget, using a weekly budget, giving out quotes on my products and services, inventory, insurance, policies, bank accounts and so much more! I think it’s all really too much, but it’s worth it. I hope to be an inspiration for all those undecided people who have an idea and have not been able to make it a reality. As I always say, by dreaming you can fulfill your greatest ideas.”
Qualitas also helped me with a very serious problem encountered last year: I fell victim of a fraud and I lost a significant amount of money. This caused me to have a debt amount on my credit card that I was not able to pay. But the Qualitas courses taught me how to better manage my money and not to buy things that I did not need so that I could, little by little, pay out my debt. Also, Qualitas also referred me to other organizations that helped me lower my credit card interest rate and create a payment plan for my card debt. My situation today has improved tremendously. I feel more in peace and I sleep better because I know that my debt is now stable and that I have the tools, knowledge and support to deal with the situation.”
Maria Concepcion Lozano
Maria comes to the workshops with her husband who owns a business. “I have enjoyed coming with my husband because I have had the opportunity to price to him what I have learned and to share our financial goals by working towards them together. What I like best about Qualitas is the value of our workshops and the fact that they are dynamic. I would like to see these workshops having more publicity so that more people can learn about Qualitas and have the opportunity to attend and learn from them. Qualitas and the workshops they offer are very valuable and I am grateful for they have brought me.”
Qualitas of Life Foundation is a non-profit organization that provides financial education to Hispanic individuals and their families, in order to foster their financial security and improve their standard of living.