March 2015


We are thrilled to welcome Rachell Hall to our team as our Financial Capabilities Program Coordinator.  Rachell oversees our financial education program and works closely with the rest of our team to weave our products and services into client engagements that help people build their long term financial health finances.  Please see below for more about Rachell.  We are also excited to welcome Alicia Hinojosa as our Office Administrator.  Alicia learned about us from her cousin, took our classes and applied for the job! We'll share a full interview with Alicia in next month's newsletter.  Please stop by to say hello to Rachell and Alicia when you are in the neighborhood! 


March 8th is International Women's Day and in many parts of the world it is a national holiday celebrated with parades, speeches and rallies.  With its roots in the labor movement, International Women's Day continues to be a platform to advocate for equal pay, paid sick leave, equal benefits and access to education for women and girls.    At Innovative Changes, every day is women's day because seventy percent of our clients are women.  That is not to say men are not welcome, it's just that we know that women face deeper systemic barriers to financial stability, including wage suppression, lack of benefits, discrimination, few career options and less years in the work force.  Women generally hold ultimate responsibility to make ends meet for the family, so we think it's strategic to prioritize women in the work we do.  I hope you agree, and I ask you to take one simple action to improve the situation for a woman you know.  Together, we can move the needle for women and girls everywhere. 


All the best,


Nancy Yuill

smart goals2Credit Builder Success Story


Avery  had only one account on her credit report - a credit card that she managed responsibly. This left her with a high credit score, but unable to qualify for a mortgage since she had never taken out an installment loan. Avery took out a Credit Builder Loan with IC$ to demonstrate her ability to pay off an installment loan, and 6 months later, she qualified for a mortgage! Congratulations, Avery! 


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!

Welcome Rachell Hall!


We are so pleased to welcome Rachell Hall as our Financial Capabilities Program Coordinator! Rachell comes to us with a wealth of experience working in non-profits aimed at  combating poverty around Portland. Before this position she did an amazing job facilitating our Women's Financial Support Group.


What will you be doing at Innovative Changes?

I'm excited about my new position as the Financial Capabilities Program Coordinator at IC$.  My responsibilities are to provide the community and partners with financial education, to help bring about more financial stability in individuals and the community as a whole.


What drew you to this position?

What drew me to this position are measurable outcomes and the gratification that I'm making a difference in people's lives. It makes my heart happy to hear some of the success stories of my clients after my workshop series. It warms my heart when people gain financial empowerment by understanding the knowledge of personal finances.


Why are you specifically passionate about financial education? Why is it important that our clients learn about personal finance?

I'm passionate about the work I do because it's so important for individuals to have a keen knowledge of personal finances because it controls our whole life. We all need financial knowledge to maneuver in this world. All aspects of our life revolve around finances.


I'm passionate about the work I do, and I love hearing from clients that I've worked with like this email! "Hi Rachell, I want to thank you for all you have taught me you have changed my whole financial perspective. I have a different outlook when I spend money now. Thanks for making me wiser & now my daughter and I will have a better life thank you."




Read more about Rachell here!

Partner Spotlight: Amy Dang!



This month we bring you an interview with Amy Dang, the Financial Education Specialist at Portland Community Reinvestment Initiatives Inc (PCRI). PCRI has been a partner to IC$ since 2010 and their mission is to "preserve, expand and manage affordable housing in the City of Portland and provide access to, and advocacy for, services for our residents". Amy found her way to PCRI after she relocated from San Francisco and was looking to continue her in supporting low-income individuals in find economic stability.


Amy is the Financial Education Specialist at PCRI. In her position she educates and coaches their residents with their personal finances. She does financial literacy classes for adults and youth and she is currently working to gear their financial education curriculum towards retired homeowners. This new curriculum will be launched with a new program to help elderly people, who need financial assistance, retain their homes. This past year Amy finished a pilot program for youth financial education where they simulated a "real life economy" over a 12 week program. "Our youth had to get fake jobs, had a fake bank account, income, timesheets and used a budget", she says. "They even were given fake paper money that they could use at a community store or put in the student run bank".




Read more about Amy here!

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


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


March 17th: Hands on Banking

March 24th: Building, Repairing, and Protecting Credit


April 7th: Making Ends Meet

April 14th: Budgeting and Savings

April 21st: Hands on Banking

April 28th: 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:



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

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

-Friday, April 3rd 1-2pm

-Thursday, April 9th, 5:30-6:30pm

-Friday, April 17th, 1-2pm

-Jueves (EN ESPANOL), 23 de Abril 5:30-6:30pm



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


Quick Stats:
As of 3/10/2015
Total disbursed:
Financial Education Clients: 3,186
IDA Savers: 95
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 to set up your monthly giving program.


Thank you for your support!

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