About Us

The Asset Building Clinic is a collaboration between the California State University of Los Angeles, local nonprofit agencies, and other institutions. We seek to enhance the financial well-being of anyone who wishes to join us by promoting financial capability through literacy and inclusion. We empower our members to act in their best financial interests by helping them teach themselves and others about financial products and services. Our members are encouraged to perform financially empowering acts with the ultimate goal of helping themselves as well as their communities build assets.

ABC seeks your partnership in creating a community level change, with East Los Angeles as the epi-center for financial empowerment. ABC Membership is free, confidential, and open to anyone interested in joining us. If you promise to share the information without judgment or advice, you will also receive a free Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Your Money, Your Goals (YMYG) toolkit and workbooks. These are just some of the tools we use to increase our members’ financial empowerment.

Our core members

ABC’s founding member is Joanna [P: ; she/her/hers] K. Doran, PhD, MSW, and assistant professor in the School of Social Work in California State University in Los Angeles. Dr. Doran currently manages ABC and welcomes anyone to join us in expanding ABC’s operations.


Joanna Doran PhD MSW

Founding Member

Chengyu Sun PhD

Technical Consultant

Agnes Karczewska MS

Program Development

Jennifer Vega

Web Master

Victor Ahuwanya

Web Developer

Hermila Melero MSW LCSW

Clinical Consultant


ABC is deeply grateful for the support we received from institutions.

We contacted these organizations for partnership because of the programs and services they offer to the community. They responded generously, providing our students with free financial counseling and coaching, savings programs, and supervision during our navigation at VITA sites. We recommend others try their excellent programs.

Additional Partners

Alliance for Economic Inclusion (AEI). The Los Angeles AEI is an FDIC initiative focused primarily in the City of Los Angeles, California, and is comprised of a broad-base of participating organizations representing financial institutions, community nonprofit organizations, and government agencies. ABC promotes saving pledges through LA Saves.

Cal State LA Center for Engagement, Service, and the Public Good. The Center’s High Impact Community Engagement Mentorship Project provides stipends to many of the students performing the navigation, and seed funding for the project.

Cal State LA Federal Credit Union . The credit union has supported ABC's Annual Celebrations from the beginning. Thank you!

Center for Social Development (CSD). We also used the Financial Capability and Asset Building (FCAB) training for social workers in the Financial Empowerment class. Cal State LA is the first Hispanic-Serving University to partner with CSD FCAB project.

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFBP). ABC is proud to have been selected as one of the 61 organizations nation-wide in the 2018 Training Cohort. We used CFBP’s Your Money, Your Goals Toolkit for Social Service workers to train students in the Financial Empowerment elective. The CFBP also sent us free materials to promote savings at tax time, and additional training for volunteers. The CFBP provides all these products and services free to the community.

Los Angeles Public Library (LAPL). We partnered with LAPL to provide financially empowering services for their New Americans Initiative in four libraries and on Financial Literacy and Financial Planning Days.