Note: The Intersect Fund is one of several student-driven microlenders. The following story introduces Eva Jimenez, who received a Citizenship Loan from Brown University’s Capital Good Fund.
PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Since leaving the Dominican Republic eight years ago, Eva Jimenez has carved out a rich and rewarding life here. She’s landed a steady job and pursued her passion for painting, displaying her work at several local galleries. But until a few months ago, she had yet to fulfill her most important dream: to vote.
Though Jimenez had attained permanent United States residency, full-fledged citizenship eluded the public school teacher’s assistant. The application fee alone would eat up nearly a month’s salary, and that excludes the hefty legal fees she’d have to pay. Jimenez wondered whether she could ever scrape the money together.
Luckily, help was available. Earlier this year, Jimenez heard about the Capital Good Fund, a non-profit microlender here aiming to combat poverty and foster a more inclusive society. She learned the group would soon offer Citizenship Loans, designed to help legal U.S. residents cover the cost of becoming citizens, and was eager to take part.
In March, Jimenez received the first Capital Good Fund Citizenship Loan.
In September, she became a citizen.
Now, she feels she has a full stake in her community. She will have more job opportunities. She will inspire others hoping to realize the American dream.
“I’m very happy about organizations like the Capital Good Fund,” said Jimenez. She adds that although many fellow Latino immigrants could become citizens, few can cover the cost. This makes Capital Good Fund loans essential. “We need it,” she said.