Hi there,

We hope this edition of Notes from NMIC brings you hope. Sometimes the current state of the world may seem overwhelming, but know that NMIC is working hard to support you and our community during these trying times.

In this newsletter: 

  • An 86-year-old community member didn’t let a little thing like technology stop her from getting the health care she needed.
  • 14 NMIC students graduated with their High School Equivalency amid a global pandemic.
  • Our Executive Director, Maria Lizardo, tackles racism in the philanthropic community.

Elders during COVID-19: Meet Carolina 

For our elderly community, this pandemic has been a profoundly confusing and traumatic time. Our Community Health Worker (CHW) team is there to help guide them, and today we’re so excited to share Carolina’s* story!

Carolina is an 86-year-old participant in our CHW program and receives outreach calls for individual emotional and health care support. During one of these calls, Carolina shared that she had multiple upcoming doctor appointments she was afraid would be canceled or postponed. Despite having a smartphone, she wasn’t sure how to use it to resolve this problem. Our Community health worker encouraged her to use the tools already at her disposal: her family. Together, they got on a three-way call with Carolina’s daughter, who lives in Georgia, and completed her MyChart enrollment. Carolina now knows to access medical information from her phone and that she can rely on her daughter and us to help her through technical difficulties. She’s scheduled a few virtual doctor visits with the added security of knowing she has the tools to manage her health care through these turbulent times.

 *Name changed to protect privacy.  

Join us in congratulating our graduates

We are proud to announce the graduation of fourteen of our students from our High School Equivalency program. Our Director of Education & Career Services, Sara Chapman, drove home the incredible victory that graduating amid a global pandemic represents. Our keynote speaker, Assembly Member Carmen De La Rosa, further highlighted our students’ resilience and congratulated our grads for prioritizing their education amidst this crisis.   

As students received their diplomas, they took a moment to express their gratitude and thank their support networks. Ivanna Diaz’s acceptance speech truly captured the mood of not just our graduates, but all of us living through this pandemic: “There were up and down moments. Crying moments. Give up moments. But you never gave up on me.” Our graduates are entering a difficult job market better equipped to compete. Our students’ courage inspires us, and just like giving up in the face of all this uncertainty wasn’t an option for them, it wasn’t one for us either. Together, we fought to ensure theirs would not become dreams deferred or forgotten. NMIC and our Education & Career Services team will continue to support our students by providing Professional Development and Career Placement services. You can support them on their journey to self-sufficiency by making a donation today. 

How we’re fighting for equity in philanthropy

Our commitment to racial justice spans all areas of our work. From our staffing to our board, we ensure that our community is fully represented in everything we do. Our very own Executive Director, Maria Lizardo, was a panelist on the webinar hosted by LAPA Fundraising titled Racism, Philanthropy, and the Nonprofit Sector. Maria highlighted the need to remove implicit biases from philanthropic practices. Often, community-based organizations do not have the privilege, resources, or connections to network with foundations for charitable funds. This creates a financial disadvantage. Maria called for equitable distribution of funds and urged all to look at the racial and cultural composition of their boards and staff. She had this to say: “For us, it’s really essential to have our community voices at our table. We can’t empower communities if they’re not at the table telling us what they need and how they want things done.” This level of community embedment is a critical part of building trust. At NMIC, we pride ourselves in being an organization that involves and serves our community members.

We’re thrilled to share a bit of our joy in your inbox today. If you’d like to continue to help us spread that, consider joining our Be the Light Campaign. Your donations enable us to provide services and funds to our community members as they strive to survive and thrive through this crisis.

Yours in Solidarity,
NMIC