LaTisha Curtiss, Compliance Associate, “I only joined OppLoans in February, but I immediately felt empowered to pursue this initiative.”

Growing up I was always a good student, but it took me twice as long to do the same tasks as other people. It felt like something was wrong with me. When I found out I had learning handicapabilities, it was a great relief. Not only did I have answers — but I had a sense of community, too. I was finally able to stop asking, “What is wrong with me?” I knew the answer was “nothing.”

Still, it wasn’t until I went to college that I discovered actual resources that could help me grow to the best of my abilities. Registering with the Office for Students with Disabilities was a game changer. It not only gave me the agency I needed to perform my absolute best, but more importantly, it did wonders for my confidence. Here was proof that I could get the same result as anyone else when given the right resources to do so.

Working to secure those resources is something that I’ve encountered throughout my career. I’m a fairly outspoken person luckily, so I have no problem going to my managers and telling them what I need in order to do my job. But not everyone is like that. That’s why creating safe spaces for people and organizations dedicated to advocating for their interests is such a crucial part of building an inclusive workplace.

This need for advocacy is why I founded Oppt for Access(Ability). It’s an employee-led community here at OppLoans that supports issues surrounding mental, physical, and behavioral health and capabilities. We are achieving its mission through several different initiatives, including philanthropy, volunteer opportunities, and increasing accessibility in the workplace.

I only joined OppLoans in February, but I immediately felt empowered to pursue this initiative. I’ve never worked for a company that had anything like the employee-led communities that OppLoans has instituted. This is a company where investing in our employees goes beyond simply offering great perks and benefits. When leaders here ask employees for feedback they actually listen to the answers. That’s not something you see everywhere.

Every employee-led community has a C-Suite member that serves as executive sponsor. Our Oppt For Access(Ability)’s sponsor is our CEO Jared Kaplan. When I approached him about it, he immediately understood the value that his participation would bring. We’re a community that is so often forgotten — and having the CEO of the company advocating for us naturally brings us into the light. From the touching speech he delivered at our kickoff event to the continued support he has provided since, Jared has been absolutely wonderful.

OppLoans prides itself on delivering 5-star customer service. But that relentless drive to help our customers doesn’t come at the expense of our employees. In fact, it’s just the opposite. OppLoans takes care of its customers by first taking care of its employees. I founded Oppt For Access(Ability) to make sure that all our employees get the resources they need to fully succeed. This community isn’t just some added perk or benefit. It speaks to our values. This is what OppLoans is all about.