My JIFFI Story: Lizzy Steffensmeier

Tell us a little about yourself.
I’m an economics and political science major from Columbus, Ohio. In my free time I like to simply be with friends, cook and bake, golf, make pottery, and hang (literally) in my hammock when the weather is nice. My love for golf has led me to join the Notre Dame Club Golf team where I serve as VP, and I am currently taking my third ceramics class because I just can’t get enough (and my parents are definitely not sick of me storing my creations at their house). I also have been involved with research and tutor.

If you had to pick a superpower, what would it be and why?
If I could pick a superpower it would be to fly! I was trying to think of something noble like ending poverty, but let’s just keep it simple — how fun would it be to fly high in the sky with the wind blowing in your face!

Why did you join JIFFI, and what roles have you taken on?
Before I started college, I knew that I wanted to get involved and spend my time making a positive impact for others. My first semester of freshman year, a JIFFI member gave a short talk in my economics class and I immediately knew that JIFFI was something I wanted to be a part of. I was appalled by the payday loan trap and admired JIFFI’s efforts to provide an alternative for people who often had nowhere else to go. I felt drawn to JIFFI because involvement not only gave me the opportunity to help others, but also to better understand the hardships and desperate situations many in our community face. I am currently the CPO, which means that I oversee the Credit and Loan divisions and help the loan process move smoothly and efficiently.

What Impact have you made so far in your time as a member of JIFFI?

Most of my time in JIFFI has been dedicated to our clients who are seeking or received a loan. The loans that JIFFI provides are usually the only option that a person has to make a bill payment, get car repairs, or afford some other necessity. Receiving a JIFFI loan often means someone is able to keep the heat on, continue working and bringing in income, or provide nourishment for their children. Being able to provide this monetary support for someone is something I’m certainly proud of. However, the area where I think I have made the most impact is in the emotional support I have provided to clients. Many of our clients are facing extremely stressful, sometimes devastating situations and I think being able to talk to someone who listens and genuinely cares is really important. I have been able to form relationships with many of our clients by always trying to lend a listening ear, offering encouragement when appropriate, recognizing their hardships, and sympathizing. I care immensely about everyone who calls the JIFFI number.

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