Meet Bhola – a Boulder resident, Senior Specialist (Treasury Management Development) at FirstBank, devoted husband, father of twins, active community leader and volunteer, and a previous resident with Boulder Housing Partners (BHP) and the Boulder County Family Self-Sufficiency Program (FSS).
“The FSS program and having an affordable place to live gives you peace of mind and the opportunity to grow and build,” shares Bhola. “We are so grateful for the opportunity. Now we try to educate and encourage others to apply, and we give back in our community so we can impact other families in life as much as we can.”
Bhola and his family took part in the FSS program at Boulder Housing Partners Woodlands Community from 2016-2017. Boulder County’s FSS program is designed to help low-income families gain education and career skills to move toward self-sufficiency. In 2018, they bought a home through the City of Boulder Affordable Homeownership program. They still have friends living at Woodlands and share that, “we loved it there. Everything was so close, including the Head Start program right on the property that we could walk to with our kids. We also loved the diversity of our community of neighbors. We were a mixed group and knew everyone was going through the same thing we were, regardless of background and culture, so everyone could be self-sufficient.”
Though English is Bhola’s third language, after his native Nepalese and Hindi, he overcame the English language barrier, and now advocates for others through his volunteer work in the community. He was a 2018-2019 Boulder County Leadership Fellow, served as a Board member on the Boulder County Department of Community Services Community Action Program, and has been actively involved in Personal Investment Enterprise (PIE), People Engage in Raising Leaders (PERL), and Circles Boulder County. He is involved with Nepali Ghar, a non-profit connecting the local Nepalese community, that is working to build a new community center soon. Bhola shared that “if you focus on the connections you can build in the community, which for us began through FSS – they can go a long way beyond those few years.”
About FSS at Woodlands:
Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) is an academic, employment and savings incentive program offered by Boulder County that is designed to help low-income families gain education and career skills to move toward self-sufficiency. Boulder Housing Partners’ Woodlands community operates in partnership with Boulder County as one of the locations where families who are participating in the FSS program live. Learn more about applying, the FSS program, and income qualifications at www.fssbouldercounty.org.