EagleBank transforms school, changes lives of students through partnership with DC Bilingual

When DC Bilingual Public Charter School needed to renovate its building, EagleBank stepped in and guided the school through the financing process, ultimately helping it become a thriving, state-of-the-art facility where young students go to learn.

“EagleBank came in to be a partner during a time when we needed to stabilize financially as well as develop a sense for how to operate our own school building,” said Daniela Anello, the head of school at DC Bilingual.

DC Bilingual Public Charter School now offers an innovative, dual immersion Spanish and English learning program for all students regardless of their home language.

“EagleBank believed in us and trusted that we had the potential to become really financially stable and sustainable over time,” Anello said. “They believed in our school and believed in our mission.”

According to Anello, in 2014, the school was given the opportunity to occupy a facility that was designed to be a school building.

However, it was not up to code.

“We knew we needed to do everything in our power to get that building renovated,” Anello said.

That project came to fruition in 2018.

“We looked at things like enrollment waitlists, school programs and how the students were performing,” explained Jonathan Beall, senior vice president and commercial and industrial relationship manager at EagleBank.

Beall said it wasn’t difficult to see what the school’s long-term goals were.

“Once you meet Daniela, you become infused and imbued with her enthusiasm,” Beall said. “That is how we got an understanding of what her vision was and how that was going to manifest and come to pass.”

EagleBank is a provider of business, personal and commercial real estate banking in D.C., Maryland and Virginia.

Being there when it counts

Working with a local bank, such as EagleBank, presents distinct advantages over larger national banks.

Local banks prioritize personalized service, forging stronger connections with customers due to their community-centric approach.

With a smaller clientele base, local banks offer more attentive and tailored financial solutions, meeting individual needs with greater flexibility and understanding.

This personal touch fosters a sense of trust and reliability that can be challenging for larger institutions to replicate.

In one example of that, Beall personally attended an event at DC Bilingual where everyone was in costume.

Beall dressed up as the superhero “Captain America.”

“I can say without a doubt that’s one of the most fun and coolest days I’ve had in banking,” Beall said. “It was really a treat.”

“Him being there and interacting with our students really showed that he was one of us,” Anello added.

How EagleBank becomes family

Opting for a local bank over a larger national bank translates into a markedly improved and more responsive communication experience, as the essence of local banks lies in their commitment to personalized service and community engagement.

“Having a local partner means everything to us,” said Anello. “When EagleBank came in, they literally became part of our family.”

The personnel at local banks typically live and work within the same community as their customers.

That shared geography promotes a stronger sense of empathy and connection, driving bank employees to understand the unique financial needs and challenges faced by their customers.

As a result, communication tends to be more empathetic, reflecting a genuine interest in assisting customers in their financial journeys.

“I could really bring all my questions or just talk about things that were happening in a way that felt like friends would talk,” Anello said. “It just seemed very natural and easy.”

Anello said she frequently reaches out to Beall to provide updates on how the school is doing and what students are accomplishing.

Academic successes among the students have soared since the school building was renovated.

“Everything, including our staff retention, has been incredibly strong,” Anello said. “There’s something to be said about making a beautiful facility where people feel comfortable and kids love going to school.”

The collaborative mindset of EagleBank stems from its vested interest in the community’s growth and success, leading to a genuine desire to build strong relationships and contribute in a positive way.

That is why DC Bilingual can continue to count on proactive communication, regular updates and a willingness to work closely to ensure the school’s financial well-being.

“We often come across schools, like DC Bilingual, that are searching for a long-term physical space to call their own so they can curate and grow a burgeoning waitlist and a high level of interest,” Beall said. “Being a community bank really means getting down into the trenches and making sure that you are accomplishing that.”

Member FDIC

Federal News Network Logo
Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up