Meet Itzel Hernandez-Spehar the New IDA Program Coordinator



Neighborhood Partnerships and the Oregon IDA Initiative are thrilled to have Itzel Hernandez-Spehar on board. Itzel join Laina Green as our second IDA Program Coordinator. I asked Itzel a few questions so we could all get to know her better. 

Who are you and what will you be doing at NP?

My name is Itzel Hernandez-Spehar and I am a native of the State of Oaxaca, Mexico. After finishing college at Oregon State University I decided to stay in Oregon and started working with immigrant families whose children were attending schools in the Portland Metro Area. My position as a community liaison led me to create opportunities for individuals and families experiencing socioeconomic barriers. This job transitioned easily into the non-profit area where I have worked for the last 7 years. My previous job was at the Portland Housing Center as the IDA Program Coordinator for the agency.

At NP I will be supporting IDA providers so that they can manage the growing number of clients and accounts. I will be working on creating efficiencies for the IDA Initiative and look forward putting into practice new tools and practices to assist IDA Providers and participants.

What areas of expertise and interest do you have?

I come with 5 years of experience working with homeownership IDAs. I am aware of the challenges and barriers that low and mod income people experience in reaching an asset. I recognize the great effort FO’s do in order to assist their clients.

My interests are in the area of evaluation and efficiencies. We need to continue improving the way we deliver services because the program is growing and we need to keep up with the change.

What does opportunity mean to you?

Opportunity is the chance to acquire new knowledge and use it to improve our lives.

What difference can asset building make for individual and communities?

Asset building change people’s lives. It gives low to mod income individuals and families the opportunity to dream and believe that they can contribute to their communities. Asset building can break the poverty cycle and create better lives for children, women, and men in any given place.

Do you have a favorite quote?

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away. – Maya Angelou.

Choose one author, living or dead, that you would like to have dinner with.

Elena Poniatowska

Derrick Taruc
Author: Derrick Taruc