Congressman Rubén Hinojosa (D-TX-15) has teamed up with Region One Education Service Center GEAR Up to form the Deep South Texas Financial Literacy Alliance. This alliance was formed to increase the financial literacy awareness of families in Deep South Texas by the year 2017. The alliance is a partnership between institutions of higher education, financial institutions, school districts, and business and community entities in an effort to improve the financial status of the communities of Deep South Texas. According to The Corporation for Enterprise Development (CFED), Hidalgo County ranks number one as the most unbanked county in the nation of counties with over 100,000 households.
"The members of the Deep South Texas Financial Literacy Alliance are dedicated to fulfilling several goals that will benefit students and adults throughout our region," said U.S. Rep. Hinojosa. "As co-founder of the Congressional Financial and Economic Literacy Caucus, I have supported measures from our region and throughout the nation on raising the awareness of financial literacy. I am grateful to everyone who has helped in the past and to those who are working now towards helping our residents become better informed so that they can make responsible decisions concerning their finances."
In October of 2012, the Region One GEAR UP: Ready, Set, College! Partnership held its first Financial Literacy Summit followed by four Financial Literacy Conferences which were held at various locations. Through this event, the partnership was able to directly impact over 1732 students and parents. The conferences provide students and their parents with vital information they need to become wise financial consumers. Additionally, Region One GEAR UP is implementing learning activities at the Partnership campuses to help students grasp the essentials of personal finance, and to give them opportunities to practice core skills and showcase the real-world impact of the financial decisions they make.
Tina Atkins, Director of GEAR UP: Bridges to the Future Region One Education Service Center noted, "Region One ESC GEAR UP is proud to be a part of the Deep South Texas Financial Literacy Alliance. This effort has the potential to impact not only the students of our cohort group, but their families and the entire community of southernmost Texas. This is truly a meaningful endeavor."
Congressman Hinojosa added, "Over the next 4 years we plan to assist thousands of students and adults through financial literacy education. I am confident that the efforts made by the Deep South Texas Financial Literacy Alliance will have a significant impact on our local economy and will set our region onto a new course of financial growth."
Other organizations, schools and financial institutions that make up the Deep South Texas Financial Literacy Alliance are the University of Texas-Pan American, South Texas College, South Texas Literacy Coalition, Stars Scholarship Fund, Texas Valley Communities Foundation, Texas Guaranteed, Capitol One Bank, International Bank of Commerce (IBC), Security First Credit Union, Lone Star National Bank, and Wells Fargo Bank.
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