A community partnership comes in many different shapes and sizes. Veritex Community Bank has had the privilege of enjoying a great partnership with Alley’s House for several years now, all thanks to our Women in Business Program. The program offers networking socials for female business owners and executives so it was a natural fit for Alley’s House founder to attend socials and even serve as one of our Charity Spotlights. From there, a partnership blossomed that included networking, a banking relationship and friendship with the staff.
Given this longstanding partnership, I was thrilled to get the call from Rachel, Executive Director, asking if Veritex Community Bank had the interest and time to assist with leading financial literacy classes for their teen moms. Quite honestly, the bank as a whole was more than meeting our CRA (Community Reinvestment Act) requirements, but we love our relationship with Alley’s House, believe in the Alley’s House mission and wanted to help out. I asked a couple Veritex teammates to help me so that we could fill as many dates as possible for the Spring. No “arm twisting” was required and AVP/Branch Manager Angela and AVP/Portfolio Manager Holly jumped at the chance to talk with these young women about topics such as Dealing with Debt, Attitudes towards Money, Budgeting and Credit Building. The Veritex philosophy is one of giving back and doing it with presence. We take the word “community” in Veritex Community Bank very seriously.
Angela, Holly and I knew we would enjoy our visits with the girls. We each are moms as well, with our own stories of joys, difficult times and the importance of financial literacy. One of us had been a teen mom. Another had been a single mom for several years. Yet another was a mom and stepmom with a blended family. We wanted to use our own stories to enlighten these young moms trying to navigate their way thru life and the role money, saving, spending wisely, etc. had on that navigation.
We went to Alley’s House weekly to help make a difference in the lives of the teen moms we taught. Funny thing is, they have been making a difference in OUR lives.
We have each shared our stories from week to week, as many of our most “teachable moments” are not as much about the words on the paper taught by professional women in the financial industry, but more about the conversations, mom to mom, we engage in with these girls. They ask great questions, always seeking guidance, about money, trusting banks, trusting people in their lives and, of course, asking all the “mommy questions.” In many of the classes, one or two of the girls might have their child with them and what a JOY it is for us to interact.
The three of us look forward to our weekly visits from 2 – 3 PM on Wednesdays. We continue to enjoy the girls in our classes and are so thankful that Rachel and Irene, Program Supervisor, invited us to be a part of this life-changing experience…for all of us. Community partnerships just don’t get better than that!