McALLEN — IBC Bank-McAllen and Sam Houston Elementary hosted a Minitropolis® Showcase event for government, banking and education leaders across the state. The event highlighted the 19-year-old Houstonville Minitropolis® program, how it works and how students are excited to participate in their own community. During the showcase, state legislators, state banking association leaders, superintendents, teachers and bankers experienced Houstonville directly from the students working at its businesses and the school administration running the program on a daily basis.
"IBC Bank has taken the lead in establishing the Minitropolis® program in collaboration with its financial literacy initiatives across more than 12 schools in Texas," Senior Vice President of Marketing Dora Brown said. "We are proud to see the program succeed and the children that have been through Sam Houston Elementary flourish, due in part to the lessons learned through their involvement with Houstonville."
The fundamental goal of the Minitropolis® program is to help students gain an understanding of financial concepts while learning the value of leadership and responsibility that will set them up for success as adults.
IBC Bank works diligently with school officials to continually develop the concept for the Houstonville Minitropolis®, which functions as a city within a school. Students earn money in which they can save and spend at local Houstonville businesses. Additional Houstonville business partners include the City of McAllen Recycling Center, Costco, Home Depot, Wal-Mart, U.S. Postal Service, H-E-B, McAllen Police Department, Easter Seals, City of McAllen, The Monitor, Texas Border Business, Channel 5 News, Rio Grande Regional Hospital and iHeart Radio.
In addition to the tour through Houstonville and the ribbon cutting for this year’s students, attendees heard from a number of state and local leaders who support teaching financial literacy through the Minitropolis® program. Speakers included David Guerra and Dora Brown, IBC Bank; Debra Loya-Thomas, Sam Houston Elementary School; Eddie Lucio, Jr., state senator; Terry Canales, state representative; Dr. James Ponce, McAllen ISD; Steve Ahlenius, McAllen Chamber of Commerce; Leilani Lim-Villegas, Texas Department of Banking; Eloy Villafranca, FDIC-Dallas Region; and Michele Carfello, Texas Bankers Association. Karla Madrigal, past Houstonville mayor and IBC Bank president, gave her testimony regarding the impact the program has had on her life. You can watch her testimonial online.
IBC Bank–McAllen is a division of International Bancshares Corporation (NASDAQ: IBOC), a $12.1 billion multi-bank financial holding company headquartered in Laredo with 210 facilities and 320 ATMs serving 88 communities in Texas and Oklahoma. IBC Bank-McAllen has been serving the Hidalgo County community since 1990 and has a retail branch network of 29 locations throughout the area. IBC Bank–McAllen was named "The Best Bank in the Valley" in 2014 and 2015 by McAllen Monitor readers. It also received their readers’ "Favorite Bank" recognition in 2004, 2005, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013. Visit us on our YouTube channel, IBCBankWeDoMore. More information is available at www.ibc.com.