Jennifer Miranda attended the Family Investment Center in its early days! She was a participant from age five until age eleven when her family moved from Woodside Manor to a new home. Jennifer continued to attend summer programs at FIC after she moved and then worked as their Summer Youth Aide when she turned sixteen.
When Jennifer first started going to FIC, most of the activities were on site. She and her friends at FIC did puppet shows, learned how to play drums during lessons from Kodiak Island Drummers, socialized during “Big Kid Fridays”, and tried out some gardening projects. After the Family Investment Center got a bus, activities took them farther afield; kayaking trips, bowling afternoons, and trips to Kodiak’s parks and playgrounds became the norm. One April Fools Day, Nick (the Youth Activities Coordinator), told everyone that they were doing an extra special field trip. He said that after many requests, “Miss Mindy” had approved bungee jumping off of Near Island Bridge! Needless to say, this field trip never happened and FIC participants had a pizza party instead.
Today, you’ll hear Jennifer on the radio DJing for KVOK 98.7 FM. She is married and has three boys aged nine, three, and four months old. Working for the radio station allows her to be a “stay at home mom” while also having a career because they are so family-friendly. Her husband Ryan is based in Valdez with Edison Chouest Offshore. When Jennifer and Ryan first started dating, they lived in a Kodiak Island Housing Authority apartment on Selief Lane. During that year rent was calculated according to their income, which allowed them to save for a larger home.
Today, Ryan and Jennifer are homeowners and live much more comfortably. Jennifer says that saving and working to improve your housing situation can be challenging. At one point, Jennifer was working three jobs! But even though things might be hard starting out, they do get better and you will reap the rewards of your hard work. Another bit of advice she has is to watch out for “lifestyle creep”. It’s very easy to spend more money as your earning power grows so be sure to keep your long term goals in mind at every financial milestone!