A social worker of over 15 years, Danica says she joined FII because “I liked the concept of FII. As a social worker, I’ve run a lot of programs. I like that FII doesn’t set priorities for families, but trusts families to do that themselves.” Danica is raising 2 children, ages 13 and 9. A few years ago, she made the decision with them to stop buying Christmas presents in order to spend the money where it was needed. In the past, this meant covering bills and other necessities. This year, she is using this money as well as funds she drew down from her UpTogether account to take her children on a once in a lifetime trip to Egypt. Danica said the family will be visiting the local museum in Chicago to learn about Egypt prior to the trip so that her kids will be able to appreciate the historical context of the sites they will be seeing – including the Valley of the Kings and the Sphinx. Her goal is to take her kids on an international trip once a year, beginning last year when the family got to visit Canada.
Danica was one of the first members of FII-Chicago. She joined with a few other women that she was already close with, and has since met other members. On the UpTogether web platform, she created a group for members to share information about financial education. Along with other members, Danica has become certified to sell life insurance and give insurance advice part-time while also holding a full-time social work position as a rehabilitation counselor. In addition to meeting in-person to share knowledge and resources, she attends video conference calls with other UpTogether members to talk about finances and their business endeavors. Danica’s entrepreneurial spirit and focus on education with her family is proof that trusting and investing in people’s strengths is the key to economic mobility.