Often people don’t realize what services are available to them. I see this all the time with college students and Career Services offices—the students complain about a lack of help even though they’ve never stepped foot in the office. Another example is students who are having trouble paying for college yet have never applied for the thousands of dollars of scholarships that are available to them. This same thing happens all the time in the world of government programs—people endure hardship because they don’t know that there are programs intended just for them. We often hear that there’s a need for more programs to help the poor, yet programs like the Earned Income Tax Credit are significantly underutilized. Ladder Up is a Chicago based non-profit organization that has “returned $183 million to 100,000 hardworking families” by providing “free, real world financial solutions that maximize earnings and savings.” Whether it’s helping their clients claim a tax credit that they didn’t know about or walking a future college student through the financial aid process, Ladder Up helps people make the most of what’s available to them.
Climb the Ladder UpPart of the problem with the government is that nothing is ever simple. Whether you’re apply for a government job, filing your taxes, or applying for some sort of government program, it’s always complicated. This means that people who need the most help from the government often don’t even know it’s available. Ladder Up changes this by working directly with their clients to help them “get off the ground and stay there.” When the working poor of Chicago run into problems claiming tax credits or refunds, they can go to Ladder Up for financial consulting advice. It’s a brilliant idea for a non-profit, and it’s apparently extremely effective—according to Ladder Up’s website they return $29 to the community for every $1 that is donated to them. That’s a huge ROI! Now, Ladder Up doesn’t have any jobs posted on Idealist right now; however, there are a couple of internships posted. A little deeper research on LinkedIn told me that Ladder Up does have entry level type positions, even if they may not be hiring right now. If you’re interested in a job with them, your best bet is to reach out to them through their Contact page.
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