Living Out JIFFI’s Mission: An Associate’s First Client Meetings
By Aaron Bode ’17
With a bit of fortune, however, I was indeed hired, and after a day-long introduction to the organization, I was ready to experience the ways JIFFI was making a difference in South Bend and in the lives of its clients. Five days after officially becoming an associate, I joined a senior associate on a client meeting. I expected to be on the sidelines, but as the meeting progressed, I found myself entering the discussion. Our client, “Golden Wine” (clients are given “nicknames” to protect their privacy) had taken many steps to try to improve their financial situation, and I was impressed by their discipline and mettle. When we tracked their expenses and income, it was incredible to see how much even a single dollar meant to their budget, and I realized how much determination was required from them to combat poverty. Golden Wine was not asking for a large loan — only enough to help with transportation costs for a week — and we were able to make the loan that day.