Julio is a Chicago native, born and raised on the northwest side of Chicago. Julio is a first generation Mexican American, and first in his family to attend and graduate college. Julio graduated from the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) with his bachelors in Criminology, Law and Justice (CU). In 2012, Julio began his career working in the nonprofit sector through his year of volunteer service through the AmeriCorps program, City Year Chicago (CYC). CYC is an educational nonprofit that serves in primarily low income neighborhoods. Through Julio's year of service, he was able to see firsthand through his students' testimony, meeting parents, and visiting the surrounding communities the issues facing some the challenged neighborhoods of Chicago, such as gun and gang violence, a lack of jobs and resources for families, and the nonexistent access to quality housing.
In 2013 Julio began working for the housing nonprofit Neighborhood Housing Services (NHS) of Chicago as a salaried loan officer via NHS' lending arm Neighborhood Lending Services (NLS), Inc. Julio worked with the leadership team to improve customer access to low cost mortgage loans, and expand NLS' presence throughout the Chicagoland area by helping implement a marketing plan and strategic process for the lending department. During Julio's time, he helped clients obtain access to 1.3 million dollar in mortgage loans via purchases, refinance, and home improvement loans.
In 2014 Julio transitioned to the Northwest Side Housing Center (NWSHC) as the MMRP (Micro Market Recovery Program) Coordinator where he helped track housing redevelopments and coordinate forgivable loan programs for existing homeowners and new first time homebuyers in the North Belmont Cragin area. Within 2 months Julio became Director of Financial Education overseeing homebuyer education workshops, and financial capability efforts which targeted working parents, and youth within local high schools. In 2015 Julio was then promoted to Director of Programs, overseeing all financial education and foreclosure prevention programmatic efforts.
At NWSHC, Julio helped create a pilot program aimed at helping low to moderate income communities gain access to down payment assistance through seed funding provided through three community banks, and provide financing through a 100,000 loan program. Julio was part of the Businesses and Jobs, and Housing Committees for the Belmont Cragin Quality of Life Plan (QLP), a neighborhood revitalization program funded by the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (USC) of Chicago. In addition, Julio sat on the Illinois Asset Building Group (IABG), a financial education focused group facilitated by Heartland Alliance. He and other nonprofit partners help provide community resident feedback to propose and existing financial education legislative efforts,such as statewide Children's Savings Accounts, wage garnishment restrictions, and access to loan alternatives to reduce payday loan activity.
Julio hopes to bring his expertise to the NUF program and continue to help low to moderate income families gain access to affordable housing and asset building.