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From Challenge to Triumph: Marion Phillips' Inspiring Journey with Steps 2 Success

Marion Phillips, originally from Montgomery, Alabama, faced one of life's toughest challenges when she moved to Jacksonville with her ex-partner. The relationship took a difficult turn, leaving Marion in debt and without support. In June 2021, she left the relationship and sought refuge and support at a women's shelter, determined to regain control of her life.


Her counselor recommended she contact Steps 2 Success, a financial opportunity center in Jacksonville. Marion made an appointment and soon met Stewart, the program manager, who provided dedicated support, even going as far as to pick her up for her first appointment on January 31st, 2022.


Setting Goals and Refining the Vision

Marion already had a vision board in place, but the coaches at Steps 2 Success worked with her to refine and expand it. They highlighted specific areas of concern and growth opportunities, allowing her to create a clear pathway for her personal and professional goals.


Additionally, the coaches helped Marion outline her core professional skills through resume formation, giving her the confidence to articulate her abilities effectively. This clarity led to securing a job and opportunities for advancement within her company.


Remarkable Career Achievements

Marion was soon able to secure a professional role in her current company that typically requires several years of schooling or extensive industry experience. Soon after, she received a promotion and raise, and maintained consistent employment with the same company for over a year.


Marion was able to get out of debt and save up to purchase a car.

Her talent, dedication, and determination propelled her to reach such a level of success in a relatively short time.


Reaching Milestones

One of Marion's initial goals was to buy a car, which she successfully accomplished. Encouraged by Tangela Evans, the financial coordinator, Marion began considering homeownership. Though initially hesitant, she was inspired to apply for a loan after visiting a home that reminded her of her hometown in Alabama.


To her delight, Marion closed on her dream home in a matter of weeks. She now enjoys planning her garden and preparing the yard for flowers, a peaceful and rewarding activity in her new home.


Empowering Her Family

Marion's journey also impacted her family positively. She used the knowledge and tools gained from the program to assist her son and daughter-in-law, who are also members of the program, helping them on their own pathways to success


Marion's story is a testament to the positive impact of the Steps 2 Success program and the unwavering support of its staff. 


Marion pictured in front of the home she purchased as a first time homeowner.

Currently, Marion aspires to keep organizing her finances and hopes to go back to school, further cementing her determination to grow and achieve even more in the future.


What Is Steps 2 Success?

Steps 2 Success (S2S) launched in December 2017 as Jacksonville’s first Financial Opportunity Center. It offers a holistic approach to financial well-being free to its members. In addition to career/employment services, S2S provides career coaching, financial coaching, and access to income supports such as food stamps, utility assistance and affordable health insurance.


Coaches assist clients with increasing income, decreasing expenses, saving money and reducing debt. This integrated approach, coupled with long-term support from FOC staff, assists individuals and families with obtaining their long-term financial visions.


To learn more about the Steps 2 Success, visit the Steps 2 Success webpage on

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