Back in 2015, Jose Alfaro, Aimee Green, and Gwen Goffner were brainstorming ways to bring more diversity and experience to staff as recruiters for Jefferson County Public Schools. After some deliberating, they decided to look at Puerto Rico.
Puerto Rico has been experiencing some economic hardships lately and that has drastically affected teachers in the territory. Coral Hernandez, a teacher from Puerto Rico explains how challenging it is for a new teacher to enter the school system because long-time teachers an not able to retire. This caused teachers like Coral Hernandez and Israel Rodriguez to look at other locations.
Luckily, there were schools across the United States that were reaching out to teachers in Puerto Rico to entice them to move, however, this move became a difficult process because moving to a new city can be incredibly expensive and these schools where not providing support in order to make the process more feasible. JCPS however, was ready to offer a relocation package that would enable these educators to move across the ocean and find a new home.
Another issue arose. Although funds would be available for the newcomers, it would take time to process, so teachers like Hernandez and Rodriguez wouldn’t receive any money until their first paycheck which, for JCPS, doesn’t come until they have been teaching a whole month. That’s why JCPS recruiters Jose Alfaro and Aimee Green reached out to Class Act Federal Credit Union for some assistance.
Class Act knew that a small gift would not be enough to help these teachers in their move, and that applying for a loan as a resident of Puerto Rico could be a challenging and time-consuming approval process. So Class Act decided to offer a $1,000 loan to these new educators – funds guaranteed.
With the loan from Class Act and supplies from JCPS, these 38 education employees were able to make their way to the United States and begin teaching the future of America. After visiting them in their classrooms, it is clear to see that they will truly make a difference in the life of many students for a long time to come.