Since joining Partners for Self Employment (PSE) in September 2001, Maria Coto has held a variety of key positions, beginning as the program’s loan underwriter, before advancing to program director and ultimately executive director.
During the course of her career she has also been closely involved in the organization’s finance office, as well as in program design and training. She played a particularly active role in designing PSE’s Individual Development Account program, and in developing client training related to the program.

When Ms. Coto joined PSE she was seeking to apply her training in psychology in an environment that offered more opportunities to provide hands-on help than the local and state-administered programs she had worked in during her training. Although she originally intended to familiarize herself with not-for-profit work in general before moving on to broaden her career in other agencies, she soon found herself engrossed by the opportunities PSE offered to help small-business owners overcome dependency and instead become financially self-sufficient.

During her years with PSE the organization has seen steady growth, and today operates satellite offices in Homestead and North Miami, along with in addition to its Miami headquarters. Along with its micro-lending services, PSE also offers training, financial counseling, savings programs for future homeowners, and peer support programs for small businesses.