Meet IRC's financial coaching clients: Alicia and Elian

Meet Alicia and Elian

Alicia arrived in Los Angeles in February 2023 from Nicaragua, where she had been imprisoned for protesting against the ruling administration. Several months later, she was finally reunited with her husband, Elian.

Alicia and Elian
Photo: Luke Van Lant, IRC-LA Economic Empowerment Supervisor

Overcoming economic barriers

Alicia and Elian, like many newcomers to the US, faced significant barriers -- especially with the financial system and housing. They did not have an established credit history, or minimum score needed to qualify for many apartments or affordable forms of financing. Through IRC’s financial coaching program, Alicia was able to take out a credit building loan to increase her score and empower her in the housing search. Along with her financial coach, Alicia also learned about many topics, including:


Empowering to dream

Now that Alicia has completed her financial coaching sessions and moved into an apartment, Alicia’s next goal is to get her cosmetology license, which is her field of expertise from Nicaragua. She hopes to go into business for herself. Her dream is to do cosmetology work during the week, and then operate a food business on the weekends selling Nicaraguan food. We will be first in line!

Learn more and get involved

If you are interested in receiving financial coaching or micro-loan services, please contact our economic empowerment team:

If you are interested in supporting IRC's economic empowerment by donating or volunteering as a financial coach, please contact our community engagement team: