Innovative Changes


In our ever accelerating world it seems the only constant is change!   This month we bid a fond farewell to Emmy Callero.  Emmy served as our loan program coordinator for almost two years, and in that time she broadened our reach to Spanish speaking clients, developed the Dreamer Loan for DACA filers and adapted many of our tools and trainings for Spanish speakers.  We wish Emmy all the best in her new adventures!


We are thrilled to announce two staff additions to our team. Rachel Stein will join us on February 24th as our Loan Program Coordinator. Rachel comes to us with many years of lending experience, including over three years with MercyCorps NW and most recently with Craft3. Rachel is bi-lingual in English and Spanish and has a Master of Science in Nonprofit Management from Milano, The New School, in New York City and a Bachelors of Arts in multiple majors, including Spanish, from the University of Michigan.  In addition to her passion for helping people become financially empowered Rachel is deeply committed to sustainability. Watch for a full interview with Rachel in our March newsletter.


Equally exciting is our hiring of Stephanie Sampedro in our NEW position of Youth IDA Coordinator.  Stephanie most recently served as an AmeriCorps VISTA for College Possible as it launched here in Portland.  Stephanie is also bi-lingual in English and Spanish, taught in two public schools in Spain and is a graduate of Swarthmore College. Stephanie will be our lead staffer as we expand our matched savings program for post secondary education to serve youth at risk.  Stephanie will start during the week of March 3rd.  Stay tuned for updates on this exciting expansion!


Please join us in welcoming Rachel and Stephanie! 


All the best,


Nancy Yuill

AngeLeah's Story


AngeLeah first heard about IC$ while participating in Bradley Angle's Making Cent$ program. Interested in pursuing homeownership, she was eager to raise her credit score in order to qualify for assistance through Proud Ground, the community land trust that specializes in helping people achieve homeownership who might not otherwise have the means. She was interested in using the IC$ credit builder loan to boost her credit while attending coaching sessions to work on managing her debt.


After a few tough years AngeLeah's credit was not in good shape. Her student loans were in default. While meeting with her financial coach she was able to rehabilitate her student loans, eliminating the stain of default, something that you can do with federal student loans that you can't do with most other types of credit. She was able to switch her loans into the Income Based Repayment plan so that her payments were manageable relative to the size of her income.


Rehabilitating her student loans and using the credit builder loan allowed AngeLeah to boost her score to 695. She is now exploring enrolling in a homeownership Individual Development Account (IDA) so that she can save for a down payment on a house for her and and her kids. She is also considering using an IDA to start a microenterprise with her cousin doing laser light shows. 

Keep reading AngeLeah's Story here. 

Rescheduled Financial Empowerment Clinic


Due to unprecedented amount of snow and ice last week, the Financial Empowerment Clinic was rescheduled to Saturday, March 1st from 10am-3pm at the Rosewood Initiative, 16126 SE Stark St.

Join us to get your financial future in order!


Workshop Schedule:

10:15-11am Making the Most of Tax Time

11:15am-12pm Ask a Planner Anything!

12:15-1pm: What You Need to Know About Preventing or Dealing with a Foreclosure

1:15pm-2pm: Tackling Your Student Loans

2:15pm-3pm: Saving Money & Managing Debt


All Day: Pull your personal credit report or meet with a financial planner, raffle prizes, refreshments, kid-friendly activities and access to other community resources. 


Visit our website for more information on this event.

Referring Partner Corner
Referring Partner Orientation: Interested in referring clients for our loans, financial education and individual coaching sessions? Want to learn more about our programs? Attend our Referring Partner Orientation webinar. The webinar orientation will take place on Thursday, February 27th from 10:30 am -11:30am. If you or your coworkers are interested in participating please register here.
Referring Partner Lunch: Want to learn more about the world of credit and debt collections? We are here to answer your questions! At this lunch discussion on Friday, February 28th 12-1:30pm, you ask the questions and we will aim to provide you with the most up to date information possible. Lunch provided, limited space available. You can register here
Quick Stats: 
As of 2/18/14


Total disbursed:
# Repaid:
596, averaging $450



Partner Spotlight: Karen Henkemeyer, Community Action


Last Spring 2013, Karen Henkemeyer from Community Action (CA) in Hillsboro contacted us about bringing our Financial Household Resiliency (FHR) series to her community. We were excited for the opportunity to deliver our financial education to more people outside of Portland in the tri-county area. Since then, we have done two FHR series in Hillsboro at a pace of one class a month and have enjoyed our time connecting with CA's IDA savers, participants of Washington County's drug court program and other community members. Each participant has brought a unique experience to the classes which makes learning richer for everyone. At Karen's request, we also developed a "Protecting Your Financial Future" workshop as an addition to our four part series which covers the topics of risk management, consumer protection and retirement to help participants further plan for asset building and a sound financial future, and to also comply with the Oregon IDA Initiative Financial Education Curriculum standards. This has been a positive growth of our financial education offerings and footprint, so we decided to spotlight Karen this month in our newsletter!


What's your role at Community Action?

I manage the Community Action's Child Care Resource & Referral (CCR&R) program, a program that provides parents and families with free child care referrals and resources in Washington & Columbia Counties. I have worked for CA for 13 years.  I have always had a passion to support families and quality environments for young children.


What are some of the biggest issues you are working to tackle in Washington County?

Increasing the availability of quality and affordable child care options for families.


Keep reading here for more about Karen and CA here. 


Upcoming Workshops & Orientations
Next Financial Household Resiliency workshops will go for 4 Tuesdays in a row starting March 4th-25th, 5:30-7:30pm at our office, 2010 Lloyd Center. Register here.
Our next Credit Builder Orientations will be: Friday, February 21st from 12-1pm or Wednesday, February 26th from 5:30-6:30pm at our office, 2010 Lloyd Center. Register here.
Our next IDA Orientations
will be Thursday, February 20th from 5:30-6:30pm or Friday, February 28th from 10-11am at our office: 2010 Lloyd Center. Register here.
Become a Financial Coach 

 Want make a different in your community by helping others get in control of their financial situation? Become an Innovative Changes Financial Coach by signing up for our next training which will be done in two parts on: 
  • Friday, March 7 & Friday, March 14 from 12:30pm-4:30pm (you must attend BOTH Friday trainings) at our office in 2010 Lloyd Center. 

Visit our website to learn more about what becoming a financial coach entails. 

If you would like to be matched up with a coach, or know someone who does, contact Katie: 503-249-5205,

About Us
Our inter-related programs of responsible lending, credit building, financial education and savings acceleration build people's financial capabilities and put them on the path to long term financial health.  Join us in our work!
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You care about helping people achieve and maintain household stability. Now you can join our efforts at Innovative Changes as we expand our reach to serve more clients. Your generous donation will be put to good use!


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