“IBA cares about its residents and about the community they’ve created”

“IBA cares about its residents and about the community they’ve created”

The Financial Empowerment Program is one of the many programs IBA has to assist residents. Its purpose is to help them understand and take control of their finances to achieve the goals they've set.

Catherine Asmen-Ardon is the program coordinator, and she sat with us to chat. She told us about herself, her position, and what she has in store for this program, not only for residents but also for members of the Youth Development Program.

Everyone—regardless of their age—should feel empowered to understand and manage their finances with full knowledge. This program makes that possible… and it’s completely free!

Could you tell us a little about yourself, your training and what motivated you to get involved with IBA?

I’m from Summerville and I really enjoy personal finance. I decided to get involved with IBA because I always do financial advising to people around me: friends, family, et cetera…and I had some success with that. It is something I genuinely enjoy doing, I like helping people.

When it comes to finances, in general, this is personal to everybody. Each situation is going to be unique to each individual and that’s what I like about being one on one with clients because you get to know who they are and what they need while giving them your undivided attention and helping them in a very personalized way.

Aside from that, I'm also now getting a lot of hands-on training here at IBA and I’m excited to put all that to work as soon as I start receiving my new clients.

What kinds of opportunities will be offered to the community this year?

We have a lot of exciting things coming, but I’d say the biggest is that we teamed up with the Youth Development Program. We are excited because we want to start showing kids at a young age how to be more involved and on top of their finances.

Besides this, with me here we are aiming to get more clients, help more residents be more involved with their finances.

How do you identify with IBA’s mission, and how will it be represented through your program in the community?

I used to be a peer leader in a youth program back in the day and it’s very interesting to see me now being involved with peer leaders, giving back to the community and to the residents. IBA cares about its residents and about the community they’ve created here and for us it’s obviously very important to help people come up with strategies and be empowered to take control of their finances.

I may not be Puerto Rican like most people here at IBA, but I am from Central American descent, so I speak English and Spanish and can help everyone who reaches out to us in the Financial Empowerment Program.

If you wish to learn more about the Financial Empowerment Program, click here or reach out to Catherine at

These programs run thanks to your donations, and we (and our residents) are very grateful for them. Please consider donating here so we can continue providing Villa Victoria with the services everyone deserves.