Innovative Changes
 MARCH 2014


We believe that everyone has the right to build financial security for themselves and their families. Two recent reports highlight the importance of the work we do.  "Trapped by Credit" by the Social Impact Research Center in Illinois analyzes the relationships between race, education attainment, access to credit and wealth building opportunities.  Racial disparities clearly play out in the world of credit.  Just looking at credit scores by neighborhood the analysis finds an average difference of over 100 points to the favor of white communities.  The report concludes, "The complex and interrelated relationships among credit, race, and indicators of future financial growth and financial well-being point to the fact that credit scores are both a product of and a contributor to racial disparity because of structural racial discrimination and exclusion."  The authors conclude, "The bottom line is that without attention and efforts to develop meaningful solutions, the racial disparity in credit scores will only become more entrenched." 


Our credit building work was featured in a report by the Credit Builders Alliance for the Asset Funders Network. "The Power of Credit Building" makes the case for supporting credit building programs as a means to improve the outcomes of the work funders invest in and the need for sustained support to grow those programs to meet the needs of people of low income. "A good credit history is not only an asset, it is the means to greater and more sustainable financial stability, savings and asset building opportunities."


We know this to be true because we see it every day.  We hope you will stand with us in this crucial work.  We are holding our first fundraiser on May 29th.  We would love to have you attend and consider making a donation to support our programs.  You can find details here


All the best,


Nancy Yuill

Tyanne's Story


"It was an eye opener!" Tyanne says of one of her first meetings with Innovative Changes going over her bank statements, "having me sit down and see things in writing allowed me to see where I could really make a difference [in my budget]". Tyanne is an Innovative Changes client who has gone the extra mile not only to make progress in her own life, but to also share her success with others.


Tyanne first went to Proud Ground after hearing from her son's teacher how they help people become first time home owners. Proud Ground referred Tyanne to Innovative Changes in order to build her credit. Tyanne connected with Innovative Changes right away to take out a credit builder loan. After she built up her credit, she wanted to tackle old bills so took out an opportunity loan. Similtaneously, she attended our Financial Household Resiliency workshops taught at our office every other month.


Tyanne has been through some tough times, including two heart surgeries. She considers the work she is doing now her second chance in life. She hopes to improve her credit score enough to qualify for a mortgage on a house, but doesn't want to stop there. She also wants to someday open up a small business. She is excited to have a chance to move forward toward these goals. 


Keep reading about Tyanne here. 

Referring Partner Corner
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 Thursday, May 22th from 10:30 am -11:30am.
If you or your coworkers are interested in participating please register  here.
Financial Empowerment Clinic

 Get ahead this spring by getting in control of your money! Confront spring cleaning woes and summer stressors by coming to the Financial Empowerment Clinic, Saturday, May 17th from 10am-3pm at the Center for Self Enhancement Inc.(SEI).


Workshop Schedule:
10:15-11am Summer Food on a Budget
11:15am-12pm Youth Activities for Summer on a Budget
12:15-1pm: Getting Ready for College
2:15pm-3pm: Budgeting for Back to School


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. 

Walk-ins welcome or register by calling Misha, 503-249-5209 or visit our website.
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!
Quick Links
Quick Stats: 
As of 4/9/14


Total disbursed:
# Repaid:
608, averaging $445.17



Spotlight: Introducing Stephanie Sampedro


Last month we brought you an interview with our new loan coordinator, Rachel Stein. This month, we are pleased to introduce you to Stephanie Sampedro, our new Youth Individual Development Account (IDA) Coordinator. Stephanie started in March and has quickly become immersed in everything IDA. She is also working on our new youth Financial Household Resiliency series which will gamify our classes and give youth the chance to get a glimpse of what it is like to live on one's own and be financially independent. Keep reading to learn more about Stephanie, her background in youth education and her passions.  


What will you be doing at Innovative Changes?

As the Youth IDA Coordinator, I will be helping to create and facilitate an IDA curriculum tailored to a young adult audience. I will be helping youth in Portland learn how to be smart savers, informed bankers, and all around financially savvy. These new youth workshops promise to be fun and activity-packed but also educational! I'm also excited to be helping out with our adult IDA program and serving as a financial coach.


What drew you to this position?

I am very passionate about helping low-income and first-generation students to be successful in post-secondary education. I believe that higher education is something that everyone should be entitled to pursue if they choose to. However, in my previous work I have seen that many times underserved students do not consider post-secondary education because they do not believe they can take on the financial burden. Innovative Changes offers programming that empowers low-income students to take control of their finances and manage their financial and educational goals. With this support and guidance from IC$ I believe a lot more young students in Portland will achieve their higher education goals while graduating with less student debt.


What did you do before you came to IC$?

Since graduating college I have had many positions teaching and mentoring young adults on their way to higher education. I have mentored high school students in a summer program through Johns Hopkins University. I then moved to Spain where I was a Language and Cultural Teaching Assistant for two years in high schools in Palma de Mallorca and Sevilla. Upon returning to the US, I served as an AmeriCorps VISTA member where I helped establish a new site office for the national nonprofit, College Possible. During my term of service I recruited 140 students for our program from four Multnomah County high schools. Additionally, I helped write grants, fundraise and maintain our constituent database for the Portland office. Throughout my career I have always dedicated my time to helping students find their path to higher education.


Keep reading here for more about Stephanie

Building Hope Fundraising Eventfundraiser


When: May 29, 2014 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm.

Where: 18th Avenue Peace House on the corner of NE Hancock and 18th Avenue in Portland. 

What:We believe that all people have the right to financial stability. We invite you to join us in supporting our work and celebrating our clients' successes by attending our fundraising event.  The cocktail party will feature wine, soft drinks and appetizers.  Our venue, the Peace House, located in NE Portland, provides striking architectural features in a warm and welcoming setting where hospitality reigns.  


We encourage you to bring along a friend who will enjoy learning about our work.  Though the event is free we hope you will consider making a donation in support of our work. Please RSVP here so we can plan accordingly.


For more information, call us on (503) 249-5205 or email

Upcoming Workshops & Orientations
The next Financial Household Resiliency workshops will be:
- 4 Tuesdays in a row starting April 1st-22nd, 5:30-7:30pm 

Our next Credit Builder Orientations will be: Friday, April 18th from 1-2pm or Wednesday, April 23rd from 5:30-6:30pm at our office, 2010 Lloyd Center. Register here.
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You Can Help!

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!


Whatever amount you can afford, you can set it up for monthly automatic payments to ease your cash flow. If you have bill pay service with your bank you can set up Innovative Changes to receive regular monthly payments. If you prefer, we can process a monthly ACH transaction on your behalf. Contact us at to set up your monthly giving program.
Donate to Innovative Changes


Thank you for your support!