Sharonda is a true advocate for the New Orleans community. Always having a passion for self-sufficiency, empowerment, and transformation, Sharonda opened First Stages Incorporated in 1998. First Stages Inc. is a case management agency that caters to children and elderly people with disabilities. Sharonda, setting herself apart, works with the children in their homes and promotes money management and home modification with the elderly.
The devastation of Hurricane Katrina caused Sharonda to lose all of her clients. Since 2006 she has been working vigorously to regain her clientele. With the Kiva loan, Sharonda will purchase and update computers and equipment, increase staff, and invest in advertising. This will allow her to execute her mission to deliver valuable services which create educational and growth opportunities for the client population. Sharonda loves her job and her city; she is committed to making a difference in her community.
About ASI Federal Credit Union
ASI Federal Credit Union has been experiencing an increased rate of defaults. This is possibly related to the experimental nature of the loan products the organization provides. In order to serve asset-poor communities in New Orleans -- including many still recovering from Hurricane Katrina and the BP Oil Spill -- ASI offers loan products designed to help people start and grow businesses even if they don't have extensive collateral, credit histories, or business experience. For these reasons, these loans also carry a higher level of risk than typical loans on Kiva.