February 2015


"Black Girls Matter", a recent report by the African American Policy Forum and Center for Intersectionality and Social Policy Studies analyzed federal data from New York City and the Boston Public School system.  They found that African American girls were suspended six times more than white girls.  The report cites punitive policies, implicit biases and stereotyping as responsible for large achievement gaps and an inhospitable environment for girls of color.  Girls who are suspended face a significantly greater likelihood of dropping out of school and are more likely to have contact with the juvenile justice system.The ripple effect of racial disparity combined with gender bias is seen in occupational choices.  Girls are much less likely to be on track for technology and science based careers, and thus end up in lower paying jobs.  As the report cites, "The disproportionate suspension and expulsion rates for Black girls reflect an overlooked crisis that affects not only their life chances, but also the well-being of their families, their communities and society as a whole."  It's time for a strategic focus on Black girls' education as a key strategy to breaking the cycle of childhood poverty. 



All the best,


Nancy Yuill

Fond Farewell to Misha!



We would like to wish a fond farewell to Misha Staggs.  Misha served as our office administrator for the past few years and was sure to brighten your day with her cheerful disposition.  We wish her all the best in her new job!



smart goals2Credit Builder Success Story


Rick never really thought about his credit until he met his fiancÚ. When they started talking about marriage, she encouraged him to pull his credit report, and Rick found out he had some collections and that because he wasn't using credit, he did not have a credit score. Rick signed up for our Credit Builder loan in order to build a positive credit history so he and his soon-to-be wife can build a life together. Good luck, Rick, and congratulations! 



Are you interested in building YOUR credit to qualify for a mortgage or another credit goal? Attend a credit builder loan orientation! Orientations are offered once a week and once a month in Spanish!

Partner/Client Spotlight: Heidi Whitehouse


Heidi is an amazing example of an IC$ community member. Not only is she an IDA saver, but she is an Americorps at our partner organization Friends of the Children. This fall she put a huge amount of energy into coordinating financial education so that students can easily fulfill the requirements for an IDA and start saving before they even leave high school. 


How did you first hear about and get involved with IC$?

I heard about IC$ through my supervisor at Friends of the Children (FOTC), who is our Education Program Manager, when he discovered what an incredible opportunity the Oregon IDA Initiative represented for our youth. Our vision is to continue connecting more and more youth to the IDA program over the years, in order to maximize FOTC's scholarship contributions. We're hoping that ultimately we can connect every one of our interested youth with an IDA, rather than asking them to compete for scholarships through a competitive process.


What is your position at Friends of the Children and what drew you to it?

I am an AmeriCorps volunteer at Friends of the Children (FOTC), serving full-time as the Post-secondary Access Coordinator. Since FOTC is a k-12 program, my role is to support our high school juniors, seniors, and recent graduates as they transition into their lives beyond high school. The two main components of doing so is by helping to connect them with IDA accounts to fund post-secondary education, and to connect youth with volunteer "near-peers" in the community-primarily college students pursuing fields of interest-who can guide them through that process. I was drawn to the position because I personally had a rough transition into post-secondary education, which was ameliorated by the fact that an older student "took me under her wing" and trusted that I would succeed. I'd like to share the information and resources that I have access to with other young folks, the way she did for me.


How does your work at Friends of the Children connect with the work we do at Innovative Changes?

Friends of the Children's mission couldn't be more aligned with the work Innovative Changes is tackling every day. 

Read more about Heidi  here!

Upcoming Workshops & Orientations
The next Financial Household Resiliency workshops will be:


- Tuesday evenings, 5:30-7:30pm


March 3rd: Making Ends Meet

March 10th: Budgeting and Saving

March 17th: Hands on Banking

March 24th: Building, Repairing, and Protecting Credit



This workshop series will be held at our office in 2010 Lloyd Center Mall. You can register for the classes here.

 Our next Credit Builder Orientations will be:


- Jueves (EN ESPANOL) 26 de Febrero 5:30-6:30pm

-Friday, March 6th 1-2 pm

- Wednesday, March 11th 5:30-6:30pm

- Viernes (EN ESPANOL), 20 de Marzo 1-2pm

-Wednesday, March 25th 5:30-6:30pm



 All take place at our office, 2010 Lloyd Center.  Register here.


Quick Stats:
As of 2/18/2015
Total disbursed:
Financial Education Clients: 3,164
IDA Savers: 94
IDA Graduates:
IDA Wait List:
IDA Interest: 
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!

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 contact@innovativechanges.org to set up your monthly giving program.


Thank you for your support!

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