Meet Mariana Barchetti!
Mariana was born and raised in Durango, Mexico. It wasn’t until she was a teenager that she moved to the states for a chance to receive an education.
“In the town I’m from there was just one elementary school,” Mariana tells me. “Once my oldest brother got to high school age he needed further schooling. He went to the US first, and then a couple of years later the rest of us joined him.”
Mariana has 4 siblings, and they all moved to Westminster, Colorado. One of her siblings, Gabby, also works with Archway as a maintenance technician at Foothills Green.
“I didn’t know English until I came here. I learned in about two years.” I was very impressed by this. I’ve always loved language and the dynamics each one brings. I learned Spanish all through school, but this was over the course of years and without the pressure to learn in order to navigate the world around me. I can imagine this pressure, plus the difficulty of the English language, made it even harder at such a young age.
“I just didn’t want to be different,” Mariana explains, “at that age, anything about you that’s out of the norm is embarrassing. You just want to fit in. I didn’t want to be the girl who couldn’t understand what anyone was saying.”
I asked Mariana what she enjoyed growing up. “I loved dancing,” she tells me, “I would go multiple times per week to different Mexican dance clubs where we would do salsa, merengue, and other traditional styles.”
Self-Discovery and Life Milestones
After high school, Mariana worked while attending school as she discovered what she wanted to do with her working career. She attended community college and completed Massage Therapy schooling, but still hadn’t found the right fit for her.
While attending Metro and working two jobs to help pay for school, she met her future husband.
“He was looking for an apartment and I was working as a leasing agent at the time. The rest is history!” Mariana tells me. She was just 3 semesters shy of graduating from Metro when she and her new husband had their first child.
“I wasn’t able to finish school being a new mom, but it is my goal to complete my bachelor’s degree.”
Starting Her Own Family
It’s clear to see how important family is for Mariana. “We make dinner together every night. The girls are young- just three and one- so they help with some of the smaller tasks in making dinner. But they love to help.”
Her oldest is starting to enjoy drawing while her youngest is learning to walk, a big feat!
“On the weekends we always try to go out to do fun activities together. We also have three dogs, so we go out for walks as a family with them.
“And we still see my siblings often. We try to all get together a few times per month. Gabby has a horse, so all the kids love to visit her and see the horse.
Journey to the Affordable Housing Industry
I asked Mariana how she found herself doing property management in affordable housing.
“Was it something you sought out,” I asked, “or just a job opportunity?”
“At first it was just a job opportunity. I was working with a temp agency while I was pregnant. I had just come from a pretty stressful job. I didn’t want that for my baby, so I was just trying to work something steady that helped pay the bills. The temp agency was accomplishing that, I wasn’t really looking for a different job. But there was an opening with an affordable housing provider.
“I ended up getting the offer after the interview process, and that’s where I was working before coming to Archway.”
“What drew you to Archway?” I asked. “The family services were really the difference-maker for me. I had never worked for an organization that provided what Archway provides for its residents.”
I could relate to that completely. I had come from working in property management on the conventional lease side of the industry. When you switch over to the affordable housing side, it can be overwhelming to learn all of the policies and requirements for each lease. Sometimes you feel lost in it. For me, it was relieving to see the family services side in action every day simply showing up for people with no questions asked, meeting needs, and building trust. And it was refreshing to be a part of it.
As for Mariana, she now finds herself in an industry she wants to stay in. “I love helping people, and I feel like that’s what I get to do every day. I’d like to continue to move up and challenge myself to see what I can do and how I can contribute.”
She has been in the property management industry for 9 years now and has great knowledge of navigating lease compliance, enforcing community policy, and working with residents and property staff.
With goals of completing her bachelor’s degree and taking on more responsibility in her job field, Mariana gives an inspiring view of hard work and never ceasing to push yourself.