Did you know that JPNDC provides free bilingual financial education and financial coaching that can help families from all over Boston build assets and advance their careers? Today, we are chatting with Donayda Salomon about her path from Family Prosperity Initiative participant, to JPNDC volunteer, to working full-time as a Financial Counselor.
K: Where are you from originally? Where do you live now?
D: I am from Santo Domingo, which is a city in the Dominican Republic. When I first moved here I lived in Dorchester, but now I live in Roslindale.
K: Tell me about your career before you began working at JPNDC.
D: Before JPNDC, I was a banker. I worked for five years developing loan products at a local bank in DR. It was a great experience but when I moved to America, I decided that I wanted to be more involved in the community. My first job here was as a teacher’s assistant at a home-based childcare program. The educator was a part of JPNDC.
K: Why and how did you get involved with JPNDC?
D: While I was working at the childcare program I received a flyer from JPNDC about financial education. I thought it would be very helpful for me to transition into the finance world. It doesn’t matter how much knowledge you have about finance because when you move to another country it is difficult to transition. Finances in America are hard for immigrants because for us a budget and having credit isn’t usually important in our home country. In America, for example, you have to pay for a lot more utilities. I decided taking a financial skills class would help educate me on these differences but also help me build relationships with people in the finance sector.
I took the class, then signed up to become a member of JPNDC. Eventually, I became a volunteer and was helping with outreach for the Family Prosperity Initiative. I took the chance to do outreach because I wanted to learn more about the city. I was so surprised by the diversity in Boston. It was almost hard for me to understand how a place could be so diverse. I talked to a lot of immigrants about my experience in the financial skills classes at JPNDC. Eventually, I began to teach a little during the trainings.