The Tale of one Employee’s Experience

Naiely speaking

Naiely shown above giving the keynote speech at Habitat for Humanity Metro Denver’s annual breakfast on April 20th.

Naiely Miranda shared her story of fighting against the odds and persevering in the face of monumental challenges. As she said her closing remarks, she watched in awe as the crowd wiped their tears, stood up and erupted in applause.

The 23-year-old FirstBank employee, who had gone from a Habitat for Humanity recipient to speaking at their annual fundraiser, had seen her life come full circle.

Naiely’s Story

Growing up, Naiely was raised by her mother, Thelma, a single parent who immigrated to the U.S in search of the “American Dream.” Instead, the mother-daughter duo found that often meant moving from rented room to small one-bedroom apartments, escaping rising rent costs.

“I remember we moved directly across the street because that apartment had a ‘move-in special.’ Other times, my mom would give me the bedroom and create a makeshift room in our living room,” said Naiely.

Knowing she needed to find a long-term, stable place for them to live, Naiely’s mom eventually applied for a Habitat for Humanity home, which provides low-income families zero percent loans on affordable homes. She got approved.

Finding Hope through Habitat for Humanity

On her 17th birthday, Naiely received the gift of a lifetime – a house. The home offered her more than just a roof over her head; it gave her stability, hope and reinvigorated her to succeed.

She worked hard at school, raised her GPA and landed a full scholarship to Metro State University, thanks partially to the support from Habitat for Humanity staff who wrote recommendation letters for her college applications. After graduation, Naiely secured a position as FirstBank’s Human Resource Recruiter.

Using her Experience to Give Back

“I wanted to work for an organization that believed in giving back to the community and I found that here at FirstBank.”

Last summer, thanks to a partnership between the bank and Habitat, Naiely volunteered to build a Habitat house, helping other families who had undergone similar experiences. Today, Naiely is often invited to speak at their events, offering encouragement to families facing adversity.

FirstBank contributes millions annually to local charities, including several affordable housing nonprofits like Habitat for Humanity. The bank also encourages its employees to volunteer at organizations they’re passionate about and has donated more than $50 million to area charities since 2000.

One comment on “Going from a Nonprofit Beneficiary to Keynote Speaker

  • This is a wonderful success story. This young lady worked hard to make her life better, she was hired and successful at her job. I think this is a good example for children and adults who are struggling, it proves if you work hard you will be successful. Thank you for sharing.

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