Announcements | Upcoming Events |  Articles of Interest

New Staff at CASA & Innovative Changes

We are thrilled to have Yesenia joining CASA!

Yesenia was born and raised in Salem. She attended Chemeketa Community College. After two years, she transferred to Portland State University where she graduated with her Social Science degree, making her family proud by becoming a first-generation college graduate. Growing up in a Mexican household, she is familiar with many of the struggles minority families endure, which gave her the drive to want to be part of nonprofits who focus on helping others.

In her role as  Family Economic Opportunity Program Withdrawal Specialist, she is excited to focus on providing financial assistance to communities across Oregon.

During her free time, Yesenia enjoys hiking, boxing, and spending time with her family and friends.

We are excited to welcome Shari at Innovative Changes!

Shari got started in the professional-world working with  Americorps and  Portland YouthBuilders, refurbishing computers for nonprofits, and low-income families. She has worked a diversity of jobs ranging from laboratory assisting, nursing, direct support working, to food service, and hospitality. Her passions are human rights, equality, the environment, and the arts. She enjoys working at a job where she can help others and do good in the world. She is especially interested in the area of low-income housing resources and knowledge. She has always wanted to work for a non-profit organizations, and loves what  Innovative Changes is doing and is very excited to join the team as an Administrative Assistant. 

Right now, she is trying to figure out what to go back to school for one day, and she is considering law school, community development, communications, economics, psychology, sociology, or art. Or maybe something else! She dreams of owning a car, a home, and traveling the world. When she's not working or volunteering, Shari enjoys spending free time with family.


Sign on to show your support in doubling the Oregon IDA tax credit to $15 million. Click here to see how you can help


The Oregon Stop the Debt Trap Alliance is a group of Oregon-based agencies working for consumer rights in Oregon. Innovative Changes is on the steering committee for the Alliance. They are preparing to support 2 bills in Oregon in 2019: one to help hold student loan servicers accountable, and one to protect consumers against "debt stacking", where payday lenders allow or encourage borrowers to take out multiple loans so they can charge extra fees. 
They are looking for people who have experience with either student loan collections problems, or with payday loan debt stacking, to tell their stories. They can accept your story in writing, but they also need people who are willing to speak out about these issues; they will help you prepare and learn to tell your story effectively! For more information, and to tell your story (you will have the option to remain anonymous): 


Need help navigating debt? CASA offers Student Loan Counseling and Classes!

Schedule a student loan coaching session with Lane Thompson our VIDA & MCSP Program Manager. Sessions can take place remotely or at Innovative Changes:  2027 Lloyd Center, Portland, OR 97232. Click here to learn more!

Did you know we teach student loan classes in the community?! Contact Lane for more info!

Upcoming Events

Part One: Making Ends Meet 
This workshop is geared toward participants who are struggling to make ends meet- potentially burdened by heavy debt-loads and/or living paycheck to paycheck. It is designed for those who are not yet in a position to pursue long-term household budgeting and savings, but who recognize the need to take control of their finances. 
Part Two: Budgeting and Saving for Your Goals
Participants create and learn how to manage a household budget by tracking spending, managing variable expenses, and accounting for changes in income. Participants will set short-term and long-term goals and use their budget to achieve those goals.

Part Three: Hands-On Banking
This workshop provides participants with an overview of banking services and how to use them successfully and responsibly. 
Part Four: Building, Repairing and Protecting Credit 

This workshop helps participants understand how credit works and gives them the tools to access their credit reports, dispute inaccurate information and address derogatory items. In addition, participants explore how to make strategic decisions to increase their credit scores and how to protect themselves from identity theft and scams.

Part Five: Retirement 101 

In this workshop participants will learn how to assess different types of retirement accounts. Structure a plan for retirement based on what their projected needs and wants will be. Participants will assess their retirement savings and come up with a plan for reaching their retirement goal. Participants will leave able to recognize the benefits to compounding interest accounts.


Innovative Changes will be hosting Financial Empowerment Clinics at  City of Portland's Fix-it Fair
The Fix-It Fair is a FREE City of Portland event where you can learn simple ways to save money and connect with resources. Join your neighbors and talk to the experts about how to spend less and stay healthy. 
Community resources will be available as well as free lunch, raffle prizes, and childcare. Make this the time that you get in control of your finances and your financial future!  Professional financial planners will also be on hand for one on one sessions, at no charge.  Walk-ins welcome. Sign up for one of these dates:

Collaborative Community Forum

Responding to the Call: 
Advancing Racial Equity in Washington County

Thursday, January 31, 2019
12-4 pm @ Village Church, Beaverton


Financial Education Classes offered at

Articles of Interest