The Santiago family came to the UPF center 6 months ago. Made up of dad, mom and three older children, money was tight and this family sought assistance in a number of areas. The father was self employed and no one had health insurance. The family wanted to know what was available to them. Connecting them to a Family Advocate, she explained several options from the Affordable Care Act, to NJ Family Care, to private insurance. Together they determined they might be eligible for NJ Family Care and the advocate helped them apply.

As is often the case, navigating NJ Family Care can be an arduous process. Applications where lost, documents were misplaced, communication was difficult, but with each turn the advocate help the family make phone calls, resubmit documentation and be persistent. Finally the children were given coverage, but the parents didn’t qualify. Now they are working on finding other private coverage for the parents.
Around this same time the oldest daughter graduate from college but was unsure what to do next. She met with the advocate and her mother to discuss what the daughter was passionate about and qualified to do with her new degree. After discussing several ideas, both the advocate and daughter began searching possible job openings. Working together, they created her first resume and then began practicing interviewing skills. After a couple months and a hand full of interviews, she was offered entry level position in a field she is excited about. She been working hard since then.

Finally the family sought scholarship guidance for their son. We was graduating from high school and planning on attending Cumberland Community College, but with finances being sparse, the family was unsure how to pay for tuition. First the advocate worked on a budget with the family and they were able to carve out a small amount for school. Knowing that the community college offers a lot of scholarship options, the advocate began researching those ideas. The son began applying for different funds and was granted a percentage off the annual tuition. The advocate also found a few small private scholarships he was eligible for. She continue to support and follow up with the son and piece by piece money came in to help him start his college career. He began school this past fall and though he and his family are still working hard to provide for his education, the scholarships have made this dream a reality.