For Daniela De Pina, the opportunities are amazing. “We can really live the American dream,” she says, her eyes opening wide. “Work hard. Have a plan. Make wise choices that take you there.”
Born on the volcanic archipelago of Fogo, one of 10 Cape Verdean islands located off the western coast of Africa, she learned early in life the value of adversity. Raised by an aunt from age 9, she graduated high school, reconnected with her mom in Portugal where college was a financial impossibility, immigrated to the U.S. without knowing a word of English, repeated a year and a half of high school to learn the language, joined 300 people at Faneuil Hall 2013 being sworn in as U.S. citizens, and with high honors in Economics is the first in her family to graduate from college.
“I’m a very organized person. Curious. Independent,” explains the SSB Compliance/ BSA Manager, who knew at the outset she wanted to work in banking and eventually become a successful top executive. In preparation, she paid out-of-pocket to become a Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist (CAMS). In her current position, she “love(s) the investigation. It’s like a puzzle. Putting the pieces together. Seeing something different every day.”
In addition to gratitude for SSB employee appreciation via such events as Breakfast with the President and the summer Corn Hole barbeque, Daniela also loves helping other people. Annually, for example, she ships huge drums of clothes/ supplies to her husband, Emmanuel’s, family for much needed Cape Verde distribution. And recently when she noticed large boxes of candles awaiting disposal on an SSB dolly, she told CEO, James Dunphy she knew where donating them could “change peoples’ lives.” The rest is history at St. Edith Stein parish in Brockton and a sister church in Cape Verde.
“I think people can do everything in life,” Daniela says. “It doesn’t mean always getting it right on the first try. But I think God was guiding me. And we learn from our experience.”