FII’s approach gives families complete choice and control over how to use their UpTogether dollars. Each month when they share goals, social capital exchanges, and information about their lives, UpTogether calculates their Initiative Score. This is similar to a FICO score, except it is focused on strengths rather than deficits. When families are doing things that are positive for themselves, their family, and their communities, their Initiative Score goes up.
Monica Ponce shared, “Thanks to my Initiative Score, I have paid for my next semester at school. One of my goals in the journal was to graduate with two associate degrees. This past May, I received a psychology and a liberal arts degree. When I finally received my degrees, I felt really emotional. I felt like anything was possible, because I did it even with two children and a husband. I felt like a heavy load was lifted. And I say that because as a mother I have a huge responsibility to educate myself and set a good example for my kids.” It is common in the FII community for families to know exactly what they need to do to advance themselves, which is why the UpTogether Fund does not dictate how they use their money.