May 1, 2019  |  Boston & Cambridge Education Financial Health Narrative Shifters Social Capital Transportation


by Bárbara Ortiz, National Narrative Shifter, FII-Greater Boston

This is Johanny Nuñez. Johanny’s cohort completed the two-year session with Fii a few years ago. I took the opportunity to catch up with her and see how she and her family are doing now.

When Johanny began her journey in FII, she had just moved to Cambridge from Dorchester. She had a two year old son, and was pregnant with her second child. She was referred to FII by a medical staffer at the hospital where she received care. She felt it was a timely blessing.

At the time, she had no employment, an empty apartment, no license, no car, and wanted to pursue a college education. Her goals were to find a job, buy a car, and enroll in college. As her cohort met every month, they inspired each other. It was a friendly competition, as members reported their progress each month, thus motivating all to work on their own goals.

At first, it simply was a relief to receive the resources from FII. With these, she was able to pay bills and address living costs. She also handled her credit cards more effectively, and started to build credit. Then, through her activities with FII, she saw the need for community building. She grew into leadership positions herself, even becoming an FII fellow for a couple of outreach projects.

And those goals?

Well, after three goals met, she added three more… One thing led to another, and:

Johanny got not one, but two jobs.

She bought a minivan for her family.

She enrolled in school and attained her Associate’s degree.

Currently she is working as a family counselor for a community organization. And, is studying at Lesley University, pursuing her Bachelor’s degree in Art Therapy. She plans to continue to complete a Master’s degree after that. Through hard work and the momentum created through the FII partnership, she was able to reach the goals for her and her family.

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