Service has been then way I was able to heal from my less than fortunate childhood. I grew up in Maryland, and went to the most amazing all-girls high school. However, at home I was often abused and found that my only escape was through education and hard work. After high school, I attended Amherst College where I played soccer for four years and studied legal theory. I thought that I would be a lawyer until I interned as a trader at J.P. Morgan and fell in love with finance. However, I realized that the financial services industry, upon working full-time, looked the exact opposite of me, and that I felt as though I was not serving in such a way that I could feel as though I was truly helping those less fortunate. I signed up for my company’s volunteer group, and helped low-income residents of New York City as a financial counselor, and realized that there is a room in our economy to marry the waspy world of finance, and the beauty and grit of the nonprofit world. Given my personal past, I feel it necessary to give and to serve, for that is how I found my own success. I had teachers and friends give and serve me when I needed them. It helps me heal and know that we all deserve better. If I can use BlackFem to reconfigure the optics and philosophies of our financial services industry, that is provide the rightful access to financial services to women and girls of color, I would get to do my dream job and believe that my identity markers do not hinder my ability to create change.
This loan is special because:
More about this loan
BlackFem is a community development venture capital firm that provides financial services for underserved women and girls of color. Our mission is to provide permanent access to financial education and services to this demographic, as they have one of the largest debt profiles in the United States. Coupled with the crippling consequences of their debt, these women face even more challenges being that their economic and social status suppresses their chances of building meaningful wealth in their lifetime. As such, BlackFem’s individualized, community-based financial services and programs afford women of color the opportunities to become economically empowered and achieve a more influential role in the economy.
What is the purpose of this loan?
BlackFem’s newest programs are perhaps the most exciting thing in our company’s history. Our dual mission put in its simplest form is to attack debt and to build wealth for women of color in underserved and under-resourced communities. Our newest programs realize this mission, and allow us to challenge the current economic landscape with our youngest in these communities. This loan will fund our Time Is Money program, which teaches 3rd-6th grader students financial literacy through interactive lessons and engaging investigations. Each program hosts 15 students and costs $2000 per program to fund. Similarly, our higher education program has shown great interest since we began our Meet Up with BlackFem program, which allows high school students to meet up with our financial educators and experts and discuss financial literacy topics that they are concerned about with their closest friends, namely how to finance college. This is our fastest growing program, and for 10 participants it costs $300 per program. Simply, this loan will allow us to run these programs, and expand them without having to turn away applicants for funding purposes. Personally, this loan will allow me to continue in my passion of serving my community and providing as much access to financial education and services as much as possible. With this loan we can begin launching our other programs that involve offering small grants to provide debt relief, and finally this funding will allow BlackFem to grow so that we can begin grant writing and become as impactful as possible.
Years in operation: 6 months – 1 year
A loan of $7,500 helps Chloe fund our newest programs and to hire employees.