Stand By Me® coach helps Wilmington woman reach financial goals

September 12, 2023

Tracey, a Wilmington resident, is well aware that her Stand By Me® coach has provided a literal lifesaver. She meets with Marilyn via Zoom once a month for free and personalized, private one-on-one financial coaching, thanks to a partnership between the Food Bank of Delaware and the state of Delaware

Tracey, who is disabled, said she first became acquainted with Marilyn, through the Wilmington Housing Authority’s home ownership program.

Although she’s improved her credit score and accrued some savings, Tracey realizes she’s not quite ready to purchase her own home. Her eyes are still on that prize though. “I need a down payment, but I’ve got my credit near where it needs to be. Everything Marilyn has told me, it’s worked,” Tracey said.

“I’m 61, and I’m just now learning how to do a budget. I never imagined I’d be doing a budget or have a secured credit card and making payments,” she added. Along the way, she’s had to commit to educational opportunities. “I had to take a class in credit repair.”

And she has very specific goals. “I see a car in my future, then I can get a part-time job. It’s an investment in myself,” said Tracey, noting that she would like to provide home-based customer service.

Marilyn tells Tracey that she needs to continue saving for a down payment for her future home, but she also needs the independence that a car will offer. “She sees her needs vs her wants,” Marilyn noted. “She’s never missed an appointment; she is listening and she’s doing good.”

Tracey has nothing but praise for Marilyn’s coaching skill skills. “She has so much information, and she’s not stingy with it. I feel like I have a friend in Marilyn. I am looking forward to how far I can go. I have a lot on my plate. I think the saddest thing is when kids have to do a GoFundMe to bury their parents.”

To learn more about Stand By Me, visit  Stand By Me coach Marilyn Ramirez (New Castle County) is at 302-292-1305, ext. 266 or email,and Malacci Robertson (Kent/ Sussex Counties) is at 302-292-1305, ext. 154, or email

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