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Financial Health Matters to Latino Families Like Mine


by Natalia Joaquin,
Senior Financial Counselor at
Neighborhood Trust Financial Partners

On this #FinHealthMatters Day, I don’t need this astonishing recent report to understand that white households have six times the wealth of Latino families, or that white wealth is growing 20% faster than for Latinos. I saw it for myself when I was fifteen and my mother was able to move me into a better school where I was the only Latina. I made her drop me off in her used Nissan far away from my classmates’ Mercedes Benzes. I saw their big houses, and learned from living in that community that property built wealth that helped those families pay for college.

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UPNEXT: A Second Chance at Life and Fatherhood

The Center for Court Innovation recently profiled Harry, a proud father and alumnus of UPNEXT, a fatherhood engagement and workforce readiness program of the Midtown Community Court. Neighborhood Trust Financial Counselors have been part of the UPNEXT program for eight years, helping fathers like Harry solve their child support arrears and other financial obstacles to fatherhood.

In the words of Financial Counselor Michelle Morillo on the Midtown Community Court blog last year, “Their work with me gives them a strong foundation to rebuild trust in the financial system and accomplish their financial goals. And they feel more confident to become engaged with their families for the first time in years. That’s the most important outcome for me!”

As Harry says, “Money is not all that’s needed,” but it is an […]

Natalia Joaquin: Senior Financial Counselor Profile

What’s your background?

I studied economics at Le Moyne College where I graduated in 2011. While in school, I had the opportunity to tutor people and found a great passion for working one-on-one with people. My mom worked in the non-profit industry my whole life, so I feel like being mission-driven is in my blood.

After graduating, I joined Americorps working for SeedCo, a national nonprofit organization that advances economic opportunity for people, businesses and communities in NYC. Through that organization, I was exposed to helping people prepare their taxes. From there, I joined Brooklyn Co-Op Federal Credit Union where I worked as a tax preparation adivsor for the credit union members.

What brought you to Neighborhood Trust?

While at Brooklyn Co-Op helping clients prepare taxes, I […]

Michelle Torres Sees Home Ownership in Her Future with Insights from Financial Counselor

“The whole experience has been very empowering. We may not have a lot of money, but now I know we have options and we can make choices towards financial stability and security. Financial skills are not a given for people in our communities, unfortunately, so we need organizations like Neighborhood Trust!”

—Michelle Torres, Financial Empowerment Center Client

Michelle used to work as an executive assistant, but because of some health challenges, she is now a homemaker and homeschooling parent to her 5-year-old son and 7-year-old daughter. Her husband works in construction. Despite being a very organized person who pays her debts on time, Michelle has big expenses, especially her food and medical expenses. In addition to the inalterable high cost of […]

Neighborhood Trust CEO Justine Zinkin Receives 2017 Social Enterprise Leadership Award

Neighborhood Trust is thrilled to announce that CEO Justine Zinkin was recognized by the Tamer Center for Social Enterprise! A program at Columbia Business School, the Tamer Center trains the next generation of leaders to address social and environmental challenges.

The 2017 Social Enterprise Leadership Award recognizes her work with Neighborhood Trust Financial Partners, which marks 20 years of serving low-income individuals this year. During her remarks, Justine highlighted empathy and collaboration as core values that have driven the transformation and success of Neighborhood Trust.

We as an organization are so grateful to everyone who has been part of this journey, and are humbled by this recognition from such a prestigious organization.

Please view the video above […]