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SAN ANTONIO, Texas – The Individual Development Account initiative really does work. It may not be much to the broader world of financial services, but the $1.4 million Bexar County Teachers FCU celebrated the graduation of one of its first Individual Development Account program participants. Elsie Pena, one of the five program participants so far, saved $700 and attended financial management classes in the program. Federal money matched her savings to bring the amount up to $1,400, which Pena will spend on making repairs on her home. “We think it’s a tremendously good program, but not enough people know about it. That’s one reason we are talking about Elsie’s success,” said Roxanne Longoria, manager of the CU. Founded in 1950 by 10 African American teachers, the credit union languished for many years for lack of marketing and lack of access, Longoria explained. “For many years the only way you knew about this credit union was by word of mouth,” she explained, “and even then it was only open 3 hours a day.” Now the credit union is taking steps to actively market itself to San Antonio’s teachers. “Everything changed when I came on board in 1999,” she said.

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