PathStone, Youth at Risk of Puerto Rico, and the Integrated Learning and Educational Development Corp. received three loans totaling $795,000 from the Puerto Rico Community Foundation’s Community Investment Fund (CADEI,) the nonprofit announced.
The contracts were signed with the assistance of the University of Puerto Rico Law School’s Legal Aid Clinic, the Foundation noted.
The funds are destined to help the three organizations strengthen their operations.
The Foundation’s Community Investment Fund was established in 2015, with $500,000 in seed funding. Since then, it has received contributions from Banco Popular de Puerto Rico, First Bank, the Angel Ramos Foundation, Banco Santander and Scotiabank.
The Fund’s goal is to provide nonprofits a new alternative of access to financing. It is currently the only instrument of its kind on the island. The Fund seeks to assign funding to nonprofits whose projects are designed to provide housing, job creation and strengthening of micro-loans. The funds may also be used bridge loans with guaranteed repayment sources to cover operational costs.
“On this day we have managed to fulfill a dual role: support the training of professionals and through the formal financing, contribute to strengthening the corporate capacity of these nonprofit organizations,” said Foundation President Nelson I. Tarrats Colón.
“That way, we put human and financial capital to work. We also want to emphasize that the three causes generate an incredible social impact for Puerto Ricans,” he said.
A group of students from the Legal Aid Clinic, headed by Professor Lourdes Quintana-Lloréns, collaborated with the trio of organizations in drafting the legal documents needed to sign the loans on Sept. 5.
The organizations that received the loans are “very solid,” such as Youth of Puerto Rico at Risk, which for more than 20 years has been fighting the dropout rate by 12-to-17-year-olds in San Juan, Comerío , Canóvanas, Humacao, Naguabo, Juncos, Aguadilla and soon Loíza.
PathStone, operating since 2002, has a loan program for small entrepreneurs, which also provide technical assistance before, during and after financing is granted. The funds will strengthen its lending program, the Foundation stated.
CADEI is a bilingual elementary school serving typical and atypical population through an individual educational service in Moca and the western region. The funding will enable it to buy equipment and obtain working capital to open a new school during the current semester. CADEI reaches more than 100 children with special needs.
“The agreement represents an oxygen tank for this type of project that focuses on breaking educational stigmas, using innovative methods and specialized services,” said CADEI President Christian Pagán-Colón.